Winterskloof: worry over fire hydrants after house burns down

2011-08-23 00:00

UMNGENI Democratic Alliance councillors and residents of Winters­kloof have raised concerns about faulty fire hydrants they have reported to the municipality for over a year, but no action has so far been taken.

The Ngwira family lost their house in Dennis Shepstone Drive in a fire on Friday.

Grant Fryer, who lives a few steps from the Ngwiras’ house, said he has been reporting a faulty fire hydrant since the last winter fire season.

“I’ve called and e-mailed the district municipality but still nothing has been done.

“The fire hydrant situated at 43 Dennis Shepstone is missing a cap on top and I don’t think it would cost even R100 to fix,” Fryer said.

He told The Witness that residents are concerned that when a fire engine’s tank runs out of its 4 000 litres of water and fire hydrants are out of order, extinguishing a fire takes longer.

DA ward councillor Pam Passmoor said the fire hydrants in her ward have never been serviced and “that’s a huge concern”.

Passmoor told The Witness that the district municipality has just one fire engine.

“This just goes to show that we’re not adequately protected,” she added.

Another councillor, Craig Millar, said it would make a huge difference if all fire hydrants were working because it would save firefighters time.

The Witness reported that when residents called the Msunduzi Municipality’s fire department for help they were referred to uMgungundlovu District because the Ngwiras’ house falls under them.

Millar said this is “unacceptable” because municipalities need to work together.

The municipal manager was not available to comment.

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