Cottages, guest houses destroyed within hours in Paarl inferno

2017-01-10 10:51

Paarl – A blaze which started in the Du Toitskloof mountains in Paarl in the early hours of Tuesday morning has already ripped through about 250 hectares of land, destroying some cottages along the way, fire services have confirmed.

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Firefighters were battling the inferno which was growing by the hour, incident command post spokesperson Justin Lawrence told News24.

Drakenstein Farm Watch chairperson Daan van Leeuwen Boomkamp said nine cottages and two guest houses had been destroyed by the flames.

The farm watch group, made up of local farmers, also responded to the blaze, with 30 farmers operating the watch's three fire trucks.

Fire-damaged cottages in Paarl
Fire-damaged cottages in Paarl. (James de Villiers/News24) 

Its volunteers were also evacuating animals from the affected farms, and a number of horses and dogs had already been removed from the vicinity.

According to Van Leeuwen Boomkamp, during evacuation efforts after midnight, many of those living in the cottages had not even been aware that the mountain was ablaze.

Cause of fire unknown

He said unconfirmed reports were received that five people had been killed when a cottage collapsed, however this has been denied by fire authorities.

No injuries or fatalities had been reported, Lawrence confirmed.

The cause of the fire was not yet known.

A fire also broke out between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek on Monday night, destroying two hectares of vegetation, News24 reported.

- Read more: Jonkershoek nature reserve closed for visitors due to heavy smoke

In addition, an investigation was underway to determine if the devastating wildfires that spread around Somerset West last week, stretching firefighting resources, destroying a luxury lodge and causing around R60m damage, were started intentionally, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen said after visiting the area on Monday.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires

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