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Scores left homeless as Alex fire engulfs 500 shacks

It’s understood the blaze broke out at about 4 pm on Thursday afternoon, however, its not yet clear what sparked the fire.

A fire has broken out at an informal settlement in Alexandra. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - An estimated 500 shacks have been destroyed in Alexandra after a fire ripped through the informal settlement.

It’s understood the blaze broke out at about 4 pm on Thursday afternoon, however, it's not yet clear what sparked the fire.

Scores of families have now been left homeless.

Residents were throwing buckets of water over what’s left of their homes to try and douse the flames. Poles holding up illegal electrical lines also caught fire but no live wires fell to the ground.

An explosion sent a shockwave through the informal settlement just meters away from a pylon but no one was injured.

Emergency services are expected to give an update on the fire later on Thursday night.