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Power outage most likely cause of devastating shack fire

Power outage most likely cause of devastating shack fire

Niël Terblanché
THE power blackout that left all the major coastal towns in the dark for nearly an hour on Friday morning was the most probable cause of raging fire that destroyed nine informal shacks at the Moshitila Apartments near the old single quarters of Swakopmund.
According to the official police report about the incident the fire started at one of the shacks behind the apartment building and spread over to eight other shacks in the yard.

Photos: Courtesy of Aubrey Oosthuizen

The blaze razed all nine shacks to the ground but the Swakopmund Fire Brigade managed to contain the flames and keep it from spreading to other structures in the vicinity.
However, the strong east wind conditions made fire fighting efforts difficult and some community members getting in the way of the fire brigade. The large amount of onlookers also posed a challenge for fire fighters.
No loss of life or serious injuries were reported and only the shacks and the property of the residents were destroyed.
“The actual cause of the fire could not be immediately ascertained, but it is suspected that the owner of one shack where the fire started forgot to switch off a small electric stove when the entire Swakopmund experienced a power outage earlier on Friday morning.”
According to the report the stove that was left on is currently the most likely cause of the blaze.


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