Derelict house burns

A house at 5 Anderson Street in Goodwood looks like a dumping site due to the ongoing squatting there.

A fire broke out last week at a derelict house that has long plagued a Goodwood neighbourhood.

Firefighters got the call-out for 5 Anderson Street at 4.24am on Wednesday March 7.

Fire and Rescue Services spokesman Theo Layne said the blaze had damaged a bedroom at the back of the house.

“No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is yet to be determined,” he said.

A nearby resident said she was living on the “edge” because of squatters entering and leaving the derelict property at all hours. She did not want to be named, fearing reprisals from them.

“It is very unpleasant. We are constantly woken up during the night due to the noise coming from the house. Many of the houses in the vicinity of the problem building have also been burgled. We were burgled last year and were left with a gaping hole in our garage with all our belongings strewn in front of it. We had to borrow money to fix it,” she said.

On Friday March 9, the property looked a lot worse than it did at the start of the year: clothes and rubbish cluttered the front.

Another unhappy resident said she wanted the house to be auctioned off.

She has been among those calling for the City to declare the house a problem building (“No end to ‘problem’ in street”, Northern News, January 31).

Ward 27 councillor Cecile Janse van Rensburg said the house was no longer on the City’s Problem Buildings Unit’s radar because it had a new owner.

Goodwood police spokesman Captain Waynne Theunis said the presence of vagrants on the property had been reported to the owner, Fuad Carlie.

Mr Carlie, said he had battled without success to get the squatters off his property.

He said he would not be cleaning the property as doing so would only make it more comfortable for the squatters.

He said he could not “wave a magic wand” and make the problem disappear.