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Clean-up operations underway after Claremont shack fire

It’s understood an unattended candle caused the blaze in the informal settlement destroying more than 50 shacks.

More than 250 people are homeless after a shack fire in in Claremont,  Johannesburg, on 6 August 2018. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Clean-up operations are now underway in Claremont, in Johannesburg, where more than 250 people have been left homeless following a shack fire.

It is understood that an unattended candle caused the blaze in the informal settlement, destroying more than 50 shacks.

A yellow excavator moved up and down the informal settlement, clearing the rubble to allow residents space to start rebuilding their homes.

This man says heat from the flames woke him up. “So I was sleeping. Everybody was sleeping here when it happened. Everything is finished here… our food and clothes, everything.”

A pregnant woman from the informal settlement says she lost all her belongings in the fire.

“I am four months pregnant. I don’t know what I’m going to do now. I have nothing, not even clothes. The way you see me, I have nothing. I don’t have something to eat and I’m hungry.”

Johannesburg emergency services have set up a disaster management team that’s now on the ground assessing the extent of the damage.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)