Diepsloot shack fire

Diepsloot shack fire

Diepsloot shack fire sparks community support

JAM SA has come to the aid of the families left homeless after their shacks in Diepsloot were destroyed in a fire last week.

Robert Muaudzi, spokesperson for the Johannesburg emergency service confirmed to News24 that the fire was caused by a paraffin stove which exploded. 15 shacks were completely destroyed.

“I was sleeping and then around 12 ‘o clock, Ma Nomsa shouted ‘fire’,” explains Samuel Sithole whose shack was one of the 15 that was razed to the ground. After the unattended stove exploded, the fire spread from shack to shack quickly as they are built so close together. “I’ve lost everything, all of my documents too,” adds Sithole.

He says the community rallied around the affected families, helping them put the shacks back together with the charred remains of the corrugated iron and other metal scraps.

Diepsloot is one of the areas in which JAM SA operates, providing a nutritional porridge to the children at over 80 child care centres. Even though none of these child care centres were amongst the shacks destroyed, JAM SA couldn’t just stand by and watch.

After assessing the situation on Friday, JAM SA visited Diepsloot on Monday, taking two bakkie loads of clothes and blankets, thanks to a very generous donation recently received from Kenton Primary School in Alberton. “Thank you, thank you!” echoed in the clearing as everyone sorted through the clothes to find what they needed.

A few pieces of furniture were also distributed and Ma Nomsa was very grateful to receive a bed to give herself and her daughter a more comfortable place to sleep – instead of lying on a blanket on a piece of wood as they had been doing since the fire.

There is still so much need, with the families really having next to nothing. If anyone is able to donate furniture, clothes, fire extinguishers and any dry groceries to JAM SA, we will be able to distribute them amongst the families and provide some relief as they begin to rebuild their homes.

For more information, please contact Burton at jamsa@jamint.com or 011 548 3900