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Valhalla Park fire: 1,400 left homeless

City officials say 350 of the 585 dwellings in the area were destroyed in Monday's fire.

Children and their parents are seen walking around the burnt out remains of their Valhalla Park homes after a massive blaze on 23 December. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Valhalla Park residents have spent hours rummaging through the charred remains of their homes following a devastating fire which gutted more than 300 shacks on Monday.

The blaze ripped through the informal settlement destroying almost half of the dwellings in the area.

City officials say 350 of the 585 dwellings in the area were destroyed and around 1,400 people have been left homeless.

At least 18 people were hurt with some people treated for smoke inhalation and dehydration.

One woman says she is grateful that she and her three children escaped unscathed.

City officials have been helping with emergency packs and food.

The City of Cape Town's disaster risk management centre says plans are underway to rebuild the entire informal settlement.

The city's Wilfred Solomons-Johannes says engineers will start working on the site before the end of this week.

"We have the opportunity now that the site is cleared to introduce and implement new service roads, fire breaks, additional electricity connections and other municipal services."

Meanwhile, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille says the City of Cape Town will assist the latest shack fire victims.

More than 60 separate fires have gutted shacks across the Cape Peninsula in recent weeks, affecting more than 500 residents.

In one recent incident in Philippi, about 200 people were left homeless.

On Saturday, a seven-year-old boy died and his five-year-old brother was taken to hospital after a fire gutted their home in Delft.

The Red Cross Children's Hospital says doctors and nurses are closely monitoring the boy who sustained over 50 percent burn wounds.

They say his condition remains serious.

If you would like to donate to the victims of the Valhalla Park fire, please call the City of Cape Town's Disaster Risk Management for more info - 080 911 4357.