alex families out on street
More than 80 Alexandra, Johannesburg, residents slept on the streets after 34 shacks were razed to the ground in a night-long fire on Saturday.
"We had nowhere to go and had to make fires to keep ourselves warm," said Patricia Ndozini, 31.
The mother of two, soaked in a black stain from the debris where her shack once stood, said it was not the first time she had been a victim of fire.
"I lost everything in the fire but I am more worried about my children who now have no clothes."
Firefighters managed to extinguished the blaze at around 5am.
Johannesburg Emergency Services spokesman Nana Radebe said no one was injured and the cause of fire was being investigated.
When Sowetan visited the area yesterday, residents were busy rebuilding their homes.
Some residents accused the owner of the shack where the fire started, of leaving her gas stove on.
"I made sure that I switched it off before I left," she said.
"The people who came to call me at a stokvel party said they saw someone putting something burning under my shack."
The woman, 29, said she suspected a man she had turned down when he proposed love to her at the party.
Sylvia Fasassie, 45, said: "We appeal to the government to build us houses. How many more people must die in shack fires before they do something?" she asked.
She said she was left with only the pyjamas she was wearing.
Police spokesman Inspector Moses Maphakela said an asthmatic man, who had inhaled fumes, was admitted to a local hospital.
He was later discharged.