Drop in CT fire fatalities

There has been a significant drop in the number of fire fatalities in Cape Town.

Shacks devastated by fire: Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - There has been a significant drop in the number of fire fatalities in Cape Town.

City officials said more than 130 people died in house and shack fires last year.

At least 51 lives were claimed during the first six months of 2011.

Disaster Management's Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said the first half of this year has seen 36 deaths.

"A special task team has been established to analyse the situation and also introduce various strategies of how to reduce fire fatalities in informal areas and residential areas."

Meanwhile, George police are investigating a shack fire which claimed the lives of two children.

A four-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl died in the blaze in Thembalethu on Friday.

The police's Malcolm Pojie said, "The investigation shows that a hot plate stove which was used as a heater could have ignited the fire."

During winter months, shack fires tend to increase as dwellers begin to use any method to keep warm.

These methods include indoor fires, paraffin stoves left on overnight, electric stoves etc.