Life lost in Walvis Bay fire and no fatalities in DRC blaze reported

One person died while 30 dwellings were destroyed in two fires at the coast.

17 July 2021 | Accidents

Swakopmund • [email protected]

The commander of community affairs for the Erongo police unit, Inspector Ileni Shapumba, said no life was lost in the fire in the DRC informal settlement on Friday afternoon while another fire claimed the life of one person in Walvis Bay.

Shapumba confirmed the death of a young man (18) and said that 33 shacks had burnt down in the fire in Swakopmund, resulting in significant damage to properties.


Initial reports indicate that an eight-year-old boy who was at home with his sister (15) playfully lit a match and threw it into the direction of the gas bottle cooker, resulting in the shack going up in flames at approximately 13:20.

“The boy fled immediately, leaving his sister alone. His sister tried to extinguish the fire but the flames were overwhelming,” Shapumba said.

The fire grew bigger and in a short period of time, engulfed other neighbouring shacks.

Emergency service providers including the police and municipal fire fighters responded to the fire and extinguished it.
A few hours after the fire subsided, residents were seen collecting what was left of their property.

Swakopmund chief executive Archie Benjamin said that a temporary shelter has been set up for effected residents at the Mondesa sports field.

“Currently nine tents and 35 mattresses along with 35 blankets are available for the effected residents.”

In the meantime, regional councillor for the Swakopmund constituency, Ciske Howard, has arranged for food donations for the victims through her office.

“I made this arrangement with the Swakopmund CEO. The victims are not yet at the stadium, but the food is ready for the weekend. On Monday, my office along with the other leaders, will have an emergency meeting to make sure that we get the affected residents what they need,” said Howard.

This was the second big fire in recent times to take place at the coast. The Twaloloka fire in Walvis Bay last year claimed the life of one person, destroyed hundreds of shacks and left many homeless.

Walvis Bay

A man (18) lost his life in a fire that broke out shortly after midnight on Saturday in Kuisebmond.

According to the police report, 3 shacks burned down in one yard.

The fire is suspected to have started at the deceased person’s residence and it is believed that he was cooking when the fire broke out.