MORE than 40 people were left homeless after fire destroyed at least 18 shacks in the backyards of three houses in the Koeldrank neighbourhood of Kuisebmond in Walvis Bay earlier on Saturday.
According to the Chief of the Walvis Bay Fire Brigade, Dennis Basson, the fire started at around 15:00 and spread quickly from shack to shack. He said that at least 18 shacks were completely destroyed while several others and the houses in the same yards sustained some damage.
“We reacted immediately even before the call came because some vigilant fire fighters saw the smoke rising into the air. Our job was made extremely difficult because the fire hydrants in the vicinity of the blaze were damaged by vandals and thieves.”
Chief Basson said the damage caused to fire hydrants in Walvis Bay by vandals is a problem that keeps the fire brigade from executing their task efficiently. As a result the members of the fire brigade had to rely on the mobile water supply truck to extinguish the blaze.
“The heat from the east weather conditions over the past week along with strong winds also caused the fire to spread quite fast. The men extinguished the fire and kept it from spreading to more of the people’s houses.”
According to Chief Basson no person was killed or injured during the incident and that the actual cause of the fire still has to be determined. He said it is suspected that a stove that was left unattended is the most probable cause of the devastation.