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23 December 2011

Fire extinguishers for Langa residents

Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille handed out 1,000 fire extinguishers to Langa residents on Thursday in a bid to curb shack fires.

Residents believed being properly equipped with their own portable fire extinguishers would help save lives in their area.

The area is one of many plagued by shack fires throughout the mother city.

In past few weeks, there have been more than 20 shack fires in the city which claimed three lives and left hundreds of people displaced.

One resident who received an extinguisher was elated and said this was the key to stopping fires.

“When our shacks are burning this is really going to make a very big difference, because now we know what to do when there is a fire.”

The City of Cape Town’s JP Smith said the city had invested millions of Rands in the fire department and would continue making the necessary changes to save lives.

“We have expanded the fire department in the last five years, we’ve almost doubled the staff and have spent R200 million from our budget, but still we have too much loss of life.”

He added the extinguishers were just a starting point of things to come.

“The fire extinguisher is safe, but obviously it has a limited capacity. What we are trying to do here is experiment with different things to assist residents.”

- EWN