One person died and another person was injured in Tuesday’s devastating fire in Khayelitsha, outside Cape Town.
The blaze started in the early hours of New Year's morning, destroying hundreds of informal dwellings in the BM Section.
Law enforcement officials said the victim of the fire sustained burn wounds to 80 percent of his body.
Some residents stood on roof tops of their structures, trying to help firefighters as best as they could.
Others continued to carry their furniture to the street, as the blaze - fanned by strong winds – continued to spread rapidly.
Members of the community said they feared the fire would rip through all shacks before the end of the day.
Resident Siyabonga Diyeki told Eyewitness News he had just witnessed his entire life go up in flames in front of his eyes.
He said he had nowhere to go, as his mother’s home had been gutted too.
Another resident, Satela Sithwa, said she managed to escape with only the clothes on her back.
The cause of the fire will be investigated.
Firefighters were still battling to extinguish the blaze at 10.35am.