TWELVE shacks caught fire and burnt down in the Ndlovini section of Nompumelelo township outside Beacon Bay yesterday afternoon.
The fire started just before 3pm and left about 20 residents homeless.
The incident in the township comes a week after another fire destroyed the homes of 27 people and left a man dead.
Resident Mziwamadoda Tyanti said yesterday’s fire started in a shack belonging to his neighbour, who was at work at the time.
Tyanti, who shares his home with his girlfriend, said he thought the fire might have been caused by a stove his neighbour left on.
“The fire consumed everything. We only saved ourselves.
“We don’t know what to do because we don’t even have a place to sleep.”
He said firefighters were called but by the time they arrived residents had put the fire out themselves.
They used a hosepipe and buckets.
Makathlego Sikhosana, a mother of two, said she was doing laundry when she saw thick, dark smoke coming from behind her shack.
“All I could think of was to save myself and my children.
“By the time we got to the furniture it was too late.”
She said the fire was fuelled by a strong wind but other residents were lucky their homes did not burn down as residents banded together to fight the inferno.
Police spokesman Captain Stephen Marais said nobody had been injured in the incident and police had opened an inquiry into the cause of the fire.
“It is being alleged that an illegal electrical connection might have been behind the incident but we are still investigating.”
Makhaya Bopi, a ward councilor in the area, said the incident was regrettable.
“We are busy negotiating with the neighbours of those affected to see if they can’t offer them a place to sleep tonight, while we are still trying to find an alternative solution.”