Substance abuse, negligence feature ‘too prominently’ as cause of CT fires

Between January 2015 and June 2018 authorities recorded 511 fire-related deaths in the region.

FILE: Six people including three children died in a shack fire in Philippi. Photo: Bertram Malgas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town says statistics for the last three-and-a-half years show substance abuse and negligence feature far too prominently as a cause of fires.

Between January 2015 and June 2018 authorities recorded 511 fire-related deaths in the region.

The City's JP Smith says: “More than half of the victims were adult males, nearly half of all the fatalities happened over weekends and nearly 60% of them between midnight and 6 am. Time and again, substance abuse and negligence play a major role in the number of fires our staff respond to.”

Meanwhile, officials are investigating the cause of a shack fire that broke out in the Mandela Park informal settlement in Hout Bay in the early hours of Sunday morning which left a woman dead.