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8 killed in spate of fires in Western Cape

Xinhua | Updated: 2011-11-07 09:11

CAPE TOWN - A total of eight people were killed in a spate of fires across the Western Cape at the weekend, authorities said on Sunday.

In Oudshoorn, a fire claimed the lives of seven people, according to district Disaster Management Head Gerhard Otto.

The fire broke out in the Bongolethu township at the weekend, he said.

The bodies were burnt beyond recognition, according to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Earlier on Saturday, one person died and another 27 were left homeless after a series of fires hit areas in Cape Town, according to the city's disaster management services center.

The center said a 35-year-old Congolese national had been burnt beyond recognition in a shack in Samora Machel, Nyanga.

Fires also destroyed homes in Kraaifontein and Khayelitsha, Phillipi and Sir Lowry's Pass Village in Somerset West.

"The cause of these fires is unknown and the authorities will investigate," said the center.

The city urged the public to exercise caution and to apply fire safe practices by keeping a watchful eye on open flame fires, gas burners, candles, lamps and paraffin stoves.

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