Officials have arrested a 50-year-old suspect for arson following a fire that broke out in Paarl East on Friday evening.
“At approximately 20:20 [Friday] night, we received a call to a number of shacks alight within the Disa Street area in Paarl East. The fire department responded to the call and within twenty minutes could bring the fire under control. Damping ensued after that. Fortunately, no injuries were reported,” Chief Fire Officer Derrick Damons reports.
Two adults sustained minor injuries of smoke inhalation and were treated by ER24 paramedics on the scene. As a precautionary measure, they were also taken to the local hospital to receive further medical attention.
The municipality’s housing department carried out a detailed assessment and concluded that 42 people were affected, including a two-year-old child and a seven-month-old baby. The fire reached four flat units and five informal structures.
Two flat units were left with minimal damage while further assessment needs to be conducted on the other two. The occupants are currently reported to be staying with family members.
The municipality activated a three-day plan to assist victims by providing substantial food parcels, blankets, necessary crockery and cutlery and vanity kits.
The area was cleared by the engineering department to ensure that people would be able to use the housing kits, that they will be issued, to reconstruct their shelter.
In addition to these measures, the local soup kitchen has been tasked with providing the victims with hot meals over the next three days.
Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed that police have arrested a 50-year-old man for arson after he set a house alight. He will be expected to appear in court once he has been charged.