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Originally published Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at 6:40 AM

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Township fire in South Africa kills 3

South African media say three people died and 4,000 were displaced when fires swept through shacks in poor settlements in the Cape Town area on New Year's Day.

The Associated Press

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JOHANNESBURG —

South African media say three people died and 4,000 were displaced when fires swept through shacks in poor settlements in the Cape Town area on New Year's Day.

Citing disaster management officials, the South African Press Association says the blazes broke out in Khayelitsha and Thembeni, densely populated areas where many residents live in makeshift homes.

The worst fire started just before 5 a.m. in Khayelitsha, when many people were still asleep. Three people died, and another suffered serious burns and was taken to a hospital.

The causes of the fires are under investigation.

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