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Funeral service of Wupperthal fire victim underway

Fifty-seven-year-old Jackie Valentyn died at Tygerberg Hospital just over two weeks ago after spending about a month at the facility in severe pain due to her injuries.

Jackie Valentyn. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – A funeral service is underway this morning for the only victim of a devastating fire that broke out in the Cederberg town of Wupperthal.

Fifty-seven-year-old Jackie Valentyn died at Tygerberg Hospital just over two weeks ago after spending about a month at the facility in severe pain due to her injuries.

The fire swept through the community on the 30th of December destroying 53 houses and five businesses.

Valentyn's family will bid her farewell at a funeral service in Cape Town today.

Her body will then be transported back to Wupperthal where she'll be laid to rest.

Community member Barend Salomo says Valentyn was a respected member of the Cederberg town where she worked as a teacher and was a member of the Moravian Church choir.

Meanwhile, locals affected by the blaze are yet to start rebuilding their homes and businesses.

Residents say the fire started about a hundred meters away from the Wupperthal Butchery, where a small group of men tried to smoke out a beehive to get honey.

The flames then rapidly spread to a grove of palm trees due to windy conditions, making its way to a shop and then to people's homes.