‘Don’t play with fire!’

2015-05-12 06:00
A firefighter carries a heavy hose to help extinguish a fire near Slangkop Road last week. Story on page 3. 


A firefighter carries a heavy hose to help extinguish a fire near Slangkop Road last week. Story on page 3. PHOTO: MONIQUE DUVAL

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A stern warning has been issued to children who play on mountain slopes and start fires.

This follows a blaze along Slangkop Road on Tuesday last week. Witnesses claim children were seen playing in the bush shortly before the fire brigade was called just after 14:00.

Clouds of smoke could be seen from Ocean View as two fire trucks came blaring down Kommetjie Road.

According to a man who assisted firefighters the blaze was started by “naughty children”.

Theo Layne, City fire and rescue services spokesperson, explains they received the call at 14:31 and two fire engines and one water tanker was dispatched.

“On arrival we found people trying to put the fire out. No injuries were reported and it is suspected the fire was maliciously set,” he says.

At 14:50, several firefighters could be seen hosing down the area. A young girl was seen trying to pick up something in a bush and was admonished by a firefighter.

“What are you doing here? It’s unsafe. Please go home or you will get hurt,” he was heard saying.

The girl left but stood along Slangkop Road and watched firefighters.

Layne issues a stern warning about children starting fires they cannot control and which are ignited for no reason.

“It’s very unsafe, especially because they cannot control or contain it. The wind could come along and spread that fire very quickly, like we saw last year at this very same spot,” he says.

In December last year, a fire broke out along Slangkop Road just after sunset. At the time, children were seen running out of the bushes. The fire quickly spread to Kommetjie and residents were seen leaving a community meeting as they feared for their homes.

Andrew Jantjies (44), a volunteer from Ocean View, attended to the fire and died shortly after collapsing on the scene (“Father remembered for smile”, People’s Post, 9 December).

According to a statement by the City he was declared dead on arrival at the False Bay Hospital.

Layne says fires along Slangkop are worrying as the inaccessibility of the slopes make it difficult for firefighters to extinguish the flames quickly.


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