Dunoon residents fear sinister hand behind fires

A fire destroyed more than 25 shacks in Site 5, Dunoon last Thursday.

Dunoon residents fear fires in the township are being purposefully set after yet another blaze there.

The latest in a series of fires to sweep through the area happened in the Site 5 shanty town on Thursday afternoon last week and destroyed more than 25 shacks that over 50 people had called home, according to City Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Jermaine Carelse.

The call came in at 3.20pm and firefighters fought until 7.30pm to extinguish the fire, said Mr Carelse.

“No injuries were reported and the cause is still unknown,” he said.

However, there have been at least five fires in just over a month in the area, leaving two men dead, and now residents suspect they are more than just mere accidents (“Four fires in Dunoon in less than a week,” Tabletalk, November 8).

“It feels like every other week there is a fire somewhere in our community. People will blame load shedding, negligent residents and other things but will never ask why these are so frequent. Is it a political thing? We have elections coming up in this country so I wouldn’t be surprised these fires were being intentionally set alight to undermine those currently in power,” said Dunoon resident Thandeka Lwimi.

Another resident, Andile Khona, said: “I also believe that we are being targeted in our community. We can’t have so many fires in such a short space of time. The authorities need to get to the bottom of this issue.”

However, Zanele Jika, who lives in Dunoon’s Zwelitsha shanty town, said people should be careful about pointing fingers without evidence.

“Look, I understand people are frustrated and people always want someone to blame for all that happens in their communities, but pointing fingers only divides the people some more.

“I love how the Dunoon community comes together in tragic moments like these and helps one another. Sometimes donation drives are carried out in the community for those who have lost their belongings due to fire or floods. Let’s remember that instead of blaming one another,” she said.

Last Thursday’s fire in Dunoon is the latest in a string of fires to strike the area.