Oh no, not fire again

2014-08-01 00:00

JUST when Mount Michael residents thought they would get a peaceful night’s sleep, the fire started again.

Exhausted residents in the area again spent about three hours on Wednesday night putting out veld fires threatening their properties.

It was just like the previous night when they fought fires for up to seven hours.

Again, they told The Witness they had to do it themselves because there were allegedly no firefighters to been seen.

Werner Ehlers (77) complained bitterly about the poor service they were getting from the local fire department.

“We handled three fires with garden hosepipes, which was exhausting and dangerous because they [garden hoses] are not meant for the job,” he said.

He said on Wednesday, just after 5 pm, they started putting out fires until 8 pm.

When they phoned the Howick fire ­department they were told that the fire engine was broken down.

“We then phoned the Pietermaritzburg fire department and they told us they were coming but never pitched,” he said.

Ehlers said this was unacceptable because they paid rates for the service and they expected to get it.

He said in Howick six years ago the fire engines had broken down and years afterwards they still had not fixed the problem.

If firefighters had arrived they would have handled the latest fire with relative ease, he said.

By the time the last fire was out, residents in the area had undergone a total of 26 stressful hours — at least 10 of which were spent actively battling the blazes.

Ehlers said about eight properties were endangered by the veld fires.

His wife, Petra, said the flames were up to four metres high at times.

Another resident, Peter Botha, said they hoped last night would be more peaceful.

By yesterday afternoon he said it was hoped that the area around the properties was all burnt and that no more fires would threaten them.

Msunduzi fire department and ­uMgungundlovu District Municipality, which is responsible for the area, were not available for comment.

Meanwhile, two fire engines were also sent to Pelham yesterday afternoon to fight a grass fire threatening homes.

The fire had burnt through large tracts of vegetation.

It jumped over Golf Road and burnt along both sides of the road towards the N3 and Washington Road.

Residents feared that large trees that caught fire would fall onto the road, cars or houses.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.