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Shack dwellers urged to be careful

Several fires were reported at informal settlements in the City of Cape Town at the weekend.

FILE: Residents living in shacks are advised to be extra careful when using coals or fire to keep warm. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town on Monday urged residents in informal settlements to be extra careful when using fire to keep warm this winter.

Several shack fires were reported in the council at the weekend.

Sixty people were left displaced after a blaze ripped through the Masiphumelele informal settlement near Fish Hoek.

In a separate incident, 10 families lost all their belongings in a fire at a Wallacedene informal settlement.

At least 43 people were left homeless as a result.

Disaster Risk Management's Wilfred Solomons-Johannes warned people about using coal inside their homes to create heat.

He says this often leads to deadly fires.

"We understand that it is very cold in Cape Town with temperatures plummeting. People actually take their coals and fires into their shacks, particularly [in the instances] where they don't have electricity."

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