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Somerset West fire: All fire fighters asked to help

2011-04-16 16:30

Cape Town - Off duty fire fighters have been asked to come in to assist with a fire that has been raging out of control in Somerset West on Saturday, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services said.

"We would like to appeal to all off duty fire fighters in the area to please come in and assist. They will be deployed to the various sectors and also to help man some of the vehicles," spokesperson Theo Layne said.

The fire, which started around 08:00 near Helderberg Nature Reserve in Somerset West has destroyed ten houses.

"I can confirm that there is a large bush fire near the Helderberg Nature Reserve. Property in the area is affected. We are receiving aerial assistance from helicopters but strong winds are hampering our efforts," Cape Town Fire Chief Ian Schnetler said.

Lane said the fire was spreading rapidly in a south easterly direction.

"There have been no reported fatalities or injuries so far but the fire is not yet under control," Layne said.

"We have deployed 19 vehicles and three helicopters to the scene," Lane said

People are currently being evacuated from their homes as the fire spread close to property in the area.

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos

Comments
  • Beam me up - 2011-04-16 17:30

    It is time Cape Town gets itself an Aerial Fire Fighting Aircraft!

  • Beam me up - 2011-04-16 17:40

    Cape Town needs an Aerial Fire Fighting aircraft like the Canadair CL-215 or CL-420.

      Allin - 2011-04-16 17:58

      Working on Fire has several.

  • Rudi Kay - 2011-04-16 18:03

    Driving on the N1 at lunch time towards Cape Town one coulod see the enormous cloud of smoke, which even covered Table Mountain. It is always so sad to see this type of fire. The firefighters have our best wishes and prayers to overcome this blaze, fanned on by a strong wind.

  • etemhoff - 2011-04-16 19:00

    i live there in Upper Mountain Road right near the reserve effected and i have only this to say, one huge and massive thank you to the fire fighting community you have worked non stop to try with huge efforts to control the fire for hours, and yes it was so close to our home, leaving us packed up with our few treasures parked outside our homes as we watched you bomb the area to save our home! I on behalf of my family and our neighbors salute all of you and once again and over and over THANK YOU !! Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to those who have lost their homes!

  • Jeeva - 2011-04-16 19:12

    I've uploaded a video on youtube of 6 helicopters queuing up at the dam to scoop water, search keywords "Helderberg Mountain Fire 16 April 2011"

      Sjaak Bok - 2011-04-17 01:41

      Thanks for sharing your views

  • Adel - 2011-04-16 19:23

    watching the fire from our balcony, its way out of control again closer to the houses and huge flames!!

      etemhoff - 2011-04-16 19:42

      where do you live

      Vernon Dodo - 2011-04-16 21:13

      I feel for you guys; drove past there this evening and saw that it was very close to the houses.

  • Erasmus - 2011-04-16 21:59

    I would have loved to be able to go out and help the guys fighting this fire. Unfortunately I was only accepted as a new recruit today. Strongs to Hayley, Andrew and the rest of the guys from VWS fighting this fire. Come October I'll be up there with you.

  • Rouxmia - 2011-04-16 23:00

    Apparently there is now 40 houses in fire and helderberg college is burning down. And also a hotel burned down. Very sad!

  • nkateko - 2011-04-17 12:11

    students were quickly evacuated from the residences because it was risky for them to sleep in the hostels because of the strong wind that was making is almost impossible to maintain direction and speed of the blazing furnace. The college has been forced to quickly close three days before the intended date because the college vice president of student service through the advice of the fire fighters has advised the students to pack for home 4 days prior to the 20th, which is the actual college closing date. this is because the area has been declared unsafe due to the smoke that is still covering the whole helderberg area. Eye witness Nkateko Mukhari

  • laverne.schwimmbacher - 2011-04-17 13:04

    We have ash way out here in the southern suburbs and i cannot even begin to imagine what people in somerset west must be feeling. my prayes and thoughts will all those who have suffered loss end are affected in any way. Laverne (Newlands)

  • wuwu9968 - 2011-04-18 03:50

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