Questions over fire department's slow response to fire on their doorstep

2017-05-01 22:50
This images shows the remains of a house in KwaNongoma Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, which was burnt to the ground after fire fighters took 30 minutes to arrive at the scene. (Supplied)

This images shows the remains of a house in KwaNongoma Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, which was burnt to the ground after fire fighters took 30 minutes to arrive at the scene. (Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Durban - A fire department in KwaNongoma Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, took 30 minutes to arrive at a burning house within footsteps from the municipality’s main fire station, a neighbour said.

According to a neighbour who wishes not to be named out of fear for their safety, the house started burning at 14:00 on Sunday afternoon.

"We phoned and told the fire department. A security guard phoned the standby officer who was not in the town at that moment," the neighbour said.

"When fire fighters eventually arrived after 30 minutes, some were dressed in casual clothes and the fire truck's hose pipe was broken."

The neighbour said one fire fighter was wearing a dress.

"The fire fighters were running away from the flames because they were afraid. If it wasn't for the community carrying buckets of water there would only be ashes left of the house."

Fire readiness

An 11-year-old was injured during the incident, but emergency response services refused to come to the scene.

"I phoned the ambulance and police. They never showed up. The ambulance kept on asking questions and making excuses and then I decided I'll take the child to the hospital myself," the neighbour said.

The neighbour said a friend of mayor arrived on Monday.

"He was driving the fire station's car. Why does the mayor's friend drive the fire department's car and not the fire department?" the neighbour asked.

KwaZulu-Natal Democratic Alliance leader Zwakele Mncwango said the party has written to Municipal Manager Bonga Ntanzi to get clarity regarding readiness of the municipality to respond to fire incidences.

"This incident clearly shows that the life of rural people is not a priority for those in power," Mncwango said in a statement.

"We want the municipal manager to investigate the state of readiness in this department to respond to emergencies. They need to explain what caused this lethargic response to the fire."

KwaNongoma Municipality Executive Mayor Sithembiso Mataba ended a phone call with News24 when he was asked about the incident.

He did not respond to subsequent calls or messages.

Read more on:    durban  |  fires

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

/News
 

Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!

Hundreds of complaints are filed every year from victims who were scammed when buying a dog online.

 
 

Paws

WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
11 animals before and after they were adopted from shelters
Competition pet grooming – creative or too extreme?
5 Celebrities who are afraid of animals
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
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.