Increase on deadly fires in the city

There has been a sharp increase in fires and fire-related deaths in the city.

December saw 15% more fires, compared to the same month the year before, according to Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith. And deaths more than tripled, with 26 fire-related fatalities in December 2019, compared to eight in December 2018.

“Sixty-one percent of the victims were adult males,” said Mr Smith.

One male from Bloekombos in Kraaifontein added to the statistics.

“Many fire-related fatalities happen between midnight and 5am. The majority of victims are adult males,” said Mr Smith.

“While these cases are handed over to police for investigation, things like unattended open flames, smoking in bed and illegal electricity connections continue to be identified as among the contributing factors.

“There are also instances where fires are the result of arson, often with fatal consequences.”

In the Sub-council 2 area – including Scottsdene, Wallacedene, Bloekombos, Brackenfell and parts of Kuils River close to the Bottelary Farms there were 16 house fires and six shack fires in December.

Mr Smith urged the public to be very cautious around open flames, cookers and anything else that could start a fire. Call the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre at 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline to report a fire.