Fire brigade blamed for R35m fire damage

2012-08-09 14:48

Johannesburg - Defective firefighting equipment is being blamed for extensive damage caused by a fire at a Pick n Pay store in Brits, Beeld reported on Thursday.

"Their pipes leaked and burst and they only had two engines," the store's owner Peter Powell was quoted as saying of the local fire brigade.

About R35 million in damage was caused. The bakery manager called Powell just after 6am on Wednesday to say there was a fire. The fire brigade arrived quickly, but the blaze was only extinguished after 12.30. Nobody was injured.

The roof caved in and everything in the shop was destroyed.

According to Beeld one of the Madibeng municipality's fire engines, the one able to fight fires from above, was out of order because there was no money to repair it.

Municipal spokesman Lebogang Tsogang denied that the equipment was defective.

Freedom Front Plus city council member in Madibeng, Elsa Lourens, said the extensive damage could have been prevented if the fire brigade had its material in proper working order.

  • rbphiri - 2012-08-09 14:56

    The fire department has Pick 'n Pay all *fired up, is the department burning its money in other ventures apart from maintaining its equipment...this is truly a burning issue.

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-08-09 16:04

      Phiri, your're hot today... Sizzling.

      sean.howlett.71 - 2012-08-10 01:20

      Normal day in Africa !! Leaders live like Kings while everything else crumbles around them ! They don`t give a sh@t ! Keep on voting ANC , WELL DONE !!!

  • pierre.flyadvertising - 2012-08-09 14:59

    No doubt a massive tender was awarded and paid upfront for this equipment.but its ok because now that person has 'economic freedom' viva

      rbphiri - 2012-08-09 15:29

      Let's not forget a free stay in London's hotels at our expense

      john.barbarian.9 - 2012-08-09 23:04

      What about the human factor?....Who was the Fire Chief commanding opeartion there? Besides equpment problems there are tactical mistakes. I've found couple of pictures from the event...and the "bursting hose lines" layed directly on top of the shopping troleys. It's realy admirable thier entrance of attack true the main gates. I bet the owner of P'n'P was commanding the operation. Even the most modern equipment cannot help when decsions are inadequate. Fight fire from above only? How high was that building?...a Skyscraper? Someone rewrites the profession of the firefighter here. Fire brigade to be blamed ...agreed. Commanding officer to be questioned and fired.

  • steven.m.armour - 2012-08-09 15:21

    Pick 'n pay having a fire sale.Typical,surprised anything rocked up to the fire at all.

  • comurray - 2012-08-09 15:26

    It has taken them 18 years to render most critical equipment necessary in emergencies such as ambulances, police vehicles and fire tenders ready for the scrap heap. As we all know by now money is no object when purchasing new BMW or Mercedes luxury cars but emergency vehicle will be repaired by back yard mechanics over weekends at exhorbatant prices.

  • Zeebbrah - 2012-08-09 15:31

    I say fire all of them, that been the fire Dept

  • kevin.moxham.3 - 2012-08-09 15:43

    What next - this country pioneered heart transplants and now our citizens cant even get a basic service like a response to a fire or a school book - This cadre deployment must stop- incompetence and entitlement is bankrupting our country both morally anf finacially.

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-08-09 15:44

    Is there anything, anything, that really works in this country, except fraud and corruption, All essential services and equipment is never maintained properly and its the taxpayers money that is supposed to be used for this. No instead, we are paying for huge indabas where they eat and drink and fill their gut. Drive the most expensive cars, take overseas holidays travel first class and dont forget the wonderful credit card that stays next the their heart. Call the police, no available vehicle, call an ambulance, only 1 ambulance and it has gone to timbuck to, call the fire engine, comes leaking hose and rusty pipes, go to hospital, equipment out of order, eish. Do we all not sacrifice every month to pay tax so that these essentials be kept in top form. Our Prezzie wants a jet and a zumaville, nogal.

  • salee.sithwell - 2012-08-09 15:48

    By all means, let us blame the fire brigade. They should be ashamed of themselves. But let us also hope the fire was not caused by Pick 'n Pay's own defective equipment!

      devon.riley.52 - 2012-08-09 16:01

      No let's blame Verwoerd, much better

      fanie.gerber1972 - 2012-08-09 16:53

      ...their kit would have been defective if they had to put out a fire at say an orphanage - ie then kids would have died - would you still be so cocky? Salee?

  • Christo Groenewald - 2012-08-09 15:49

    was the firemen or the fire trucks searched before they left the scene? These firemen where busy for far too long to just fight fire.

  • devon.riley.52 - 2012-08-09 15:59

    Oh we are becomming just like Zimbabwe. Nothing working anymore.

  • alfie.dunn - 2012-08-09 16:14

    Municipal spokesman Lebogang Tsogang denied that the equipment was defective....That is because the ANC is always in denial. They can never admit to their faults, always playing the victim. It's time that these so called Leaders take full responsibility and admit defeat.

      Klaus - 2012-08-09 16:32

      When Easter & Xmas share same date ???

  • Teuneman - 2012-08-09 16:15

    Correction. The government is to blame.

  • alwinco - 2012-08-09 16:52

    The single most effective step anyone can take against risk is to have a security risk assessment done

      Wally Walters - 2012-08-09 17:06

      there is money to steal and for parties . but not for services shame on you

  • jan.chrzciciel.9 - 2012-08-09 17:13

    The extent of the ANC's ability to fail is unbounded ...

      sean.howlett.71 - 2012-08-10 01:23

      A country run by a bunch of banana feeding mammals !!!!!!!!!

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-08-09 17:16

    Sounds similar to the ambulances with no sirens or hooters reported earlier this week. Maybe if it could be arranged that an ANC family, preferably high-ranking,could face a fire or a medical emergency something MIGHT be done. Kathy

  • Erna - 2012-08-09 17:26

    How used to this have we become - 'municipal spokesperson DENIED'. Next they'll lie, and then blame someone else, preferably not someone in the anc!

  • jandre.demas - 2012-08-09 17:59

    Lets not forget tht to start with any fire is nt the Fire Brigades fault, they r jus there to extinguish it and try to minimise damage, thts y u hav to b insured

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-08-09 18:29

      Are you deliberately trying to miss the point?

      sean.howlett.71 - 2012-08-10 01:24

      @jandre.demas - lol ! Suppose you also failed woodwork ??

  • randall.j.coetzee - 2012-08-09 20:28

    Can't believe I'm about to say this... I'm a firefighter under a D.A municipality and most of our equipment's also defective... And the one who said that the firefighters took way to long at the scene let me enlighten you. The platoon commander is never a stupid guy. He knows if they stay there that long his ass is grass, that's why every machine(truck) has an hour reading on them. He/She also has the right to stay at the scene for as long as they see it fit, as can the S.O on scene. It's not just about extinguishing the fire and go and I think everybody should know that.

      sean.howlett.71 - 2012-08-10 01:26

      @Randall ! I know SAPS in run by the ANC , don`t they also control the fire departments ?

      randall.j.coetzee - 2012-08-10 07:32

      Nah... You see the fire department where I work is in drakenstein, SAPS is state. We are semi-state which means the municipality is in control of us... Some departments are of state entity though so I can see the misunderstanding

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-08-10 06:31

    In Africa preventative maintenance is a totally foreign concept !! If it ain't new it's f*cked !!

  • eugene.schutte.92 - 2012-08-10 07:06

    As a old firefighter that just end my service of 22 years, I can just put the blame at the feet of management and the pavement fireman that they employed.

  • andrew.peace2 - 2012-08-10 08:01

    Ladies and Gentlemen, i now believe that our auditor general and Public Protector need to work hand in Hand to resolve the ongoing corruption debate. I would think that an investigation be undertaken to investigate the misuse of money to substantiate the validty of the budgets of the Fire Brigade of this municipality.Or are they being redirected at expensive cars and the "blue light brigade"? How can a fire brigade NOT put out a fire??????? Mrs Public Protector, now use some of the muscle you have been given to unearth and bring to trial all those who are bringing everything down arround use. Also, Pick n Pay and others who have been affected by this devistation , start a Class Action Against the Town Council?????????? Then lets see who comes up trumps?????

  • Zahir - 2012-08-10 08:08

    Brits is under Anc misrule so be be shocked if something does work

  • bless.boswell - 2012-08-10 08:53

    Institute an immediate investigation and make every detail public. No more coverups.

  • sesom - 2012-08-10 09:06

    There are no more White fire-fighters left...Thats why nothing works..

      randall.j.coetzee - 2012-08-10 15:59

      Then I wonder why I work at a sub-station with 3 whites.... Weird. Btw... We are 4 at the s-station.

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