Fire destroys 10 backyard shacks at Swakop

No death or injuries
A fire destroyed various shacks in Swakopmund's Hanganeni neighbourhood, robbing several households of their belongings.
Adam Hartman
A fire ripped through several backyard shacks at Hanganeni neighbourhood in Swakopmund on Friday, depriving about 10 households of the belongings,

Fortunatey there were no deaths or injuries, although one woman (an owner of a shack) was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation after she ran into the shack to save some of her possessions.

According to Helmut Kavendjii, he saw the smoke from far during lunch hour, and ran towards the area to assist in fighting the flames.

According to the police, 10 shacks were destroyed.

According to Reuben Gonteb, who lived in a shack for two years, the fire started and spread quickly. “The wind was very strong and caused the flames it to spread rapidly. Thank goodness there were people to help get some of my things out before everything was destroyed," he said.

The flames spread to several properties with another shack, situated across the road also catching fire. Thanks to the swift response of volunteers (which included children) and the Swakopmund fire brigade, the fire was quickly put out.

Ingrid Gawises told Erongo 24/7 that her daughter-in-law had just handed her two-week-old baby to her (Gawises) to look after before the flames engulfed the daughter-in-law’s shack. “She gave the baby to me and went looking for her other child. When she came back the her shack was on fire and the flames turned everything to ashes – the bed, food, clothes, blankets – everything...” she said.

The police said that the cause of the fire is still unknown at this point, while investigations continue.

According to Sean Naude of the Namibian Marshal Rangers, who were also assisting on the scene, witnesses suspect that a child playing with matches might have started the fire.