Mom and baby die in shack fire

A 24-YEAR-OLD mother and her baby were burnt beyond recognition in a Cape Town shack fire on Saturday.

About 10 shacks in the Polar Park informal settlement in Philippi burnt down, leaving 24 people homeless.

The fire allegedly started after the young mother fell asleep, leaving her gas stove on.

Philippi East police station communications officer Nondumiso Paul said the fire started at 1am and razed about 10 shacks.

"The young lady was allegedly cooking while she was drunk," Paul said.

"She fell asleep and left the stove unattended. She died in the shack with her one-year-old baby."

An inquest has been opened.

Angry residents told Sowetan the incident happened because there was no electricity or decent houses in the area.

Disaster risk management communications officer Wilfred Solomons said they provided clothes, food and building material to the victims.