No fire station in St Francis Bay

2012-11-12 08:51

Port Elizabeth - With no fire station in St Francis Bay, it was up to volunteers to initially try and put out the flames that destroyed homes and property in the coastal resort.

Many people sought refuge at the local golf club, reported Eyewitness News.

Mayor Booi Koerat of the Kouga district municipality said: “We have had fires before but never anything like this,” reported Beeld.

Homeowner Roché van Loggerenberg said no home in the village was valued under R3m.

Another homeowner, Deon van Rensburg, said his holiday home had burned down.

“My aunt could get the dogs out but by then the smoke was coming through the roof,” he said.

Residents told of hearing gas bottles exploding in the houses during the fire.

About 100 houses were destroyed in the fire and a firefighter was the only person injured.   

  • hendre.kleynhans - 2012-11-12 09:04

    Why was there no fire station in St Francis???? A few years ago it was still there? What happened to it?? It think it was only a few 100 meters from where the fire started??????

      lsfreak - 2012-11-12 10:03

      Why... Cause this is cANCer country and they need the big salaries :/ You know how it works, we need money so cut the health and safety budget... cut water and sewage budget... cut infrastructure budget just not the pay :D It's the only way the cANCer way :D :D

      kaapse.snaai - 2012-11-12 10:43

      Isfreak your comment is very irrational. instead of providing a simple answer, you chose to take a swipe at the ANC which probably has nothing to do with that ward seeing that it houses affluent 'white' people. The ward is most probably managed by the DA but your ignorant brain is so obsessed with the ANC . You need to go the local library sonny.

      rodney.bevan.58 - 2012-11-12 16:29

      Even in Britain they are closing smaller fire stations to save money, some are staffed by volunteer firemen, the village I live in has a volunteer force. In a town where the majority of homes are thatched, one would have hoped that at least a volunteer force was in place.

  • fussed.anderson - 2012-11-12 09:12

    No fire tender?

  • anthea.lagrange - 2012-11-12 09:13

    How does a town with so much thatch roof have no fire station? The insurance for those homes must be staggering.

  • sanchez.sancho.7 - 2012-11-12 09:13

    thats hectic all the memories gone. the insurance guy must be having a bad monday

  • frithd - 2012-11-12 09:13

    what a horrid event. Such a charming village. My thoughts are with my friends who have lost their homes.

  • Jeremy - 2012-11-12 09:18

    Maybe when they finally get around to rebuilding, they'll use tiles rather than thatch. I can't imagine a worse combination - lots of thatched roofs close to each other, gas bottles in many of the houses - and the possibility of strong coastal winds! Oh yes....and a missing or non-operational fire station! I wonder if the insurance will pay out?

  • dino.peros - 2012-11-12 09:18

    There is a fire Station. We have one fire truck and a small group of firefighters. They were deployed straight away but due to the thatch houses it was too overwhelming. Eventually took more than ten fire engines from PE etc to put out the blaze.

      hendre.kleynhans - 2012-11-12 16:15

      "one fire truck and a small group of firefighters" is not a fire station if you look at the rates you have to pay. Maybe they could not get to the scene fast enough because of the potholes? The roads are some of the worst I have seen.

  • sesom - 2012-11-12 09:35

    I wonder if there is a Fire Station near J.Z house?

      arthur.marks.754 - 2012-11-12 10:28

      @ sesom, the alleged R248 million will increase by a staggering extra R100 mil or so to build and equip a fire station when JZ hears about this disaster at St. Francis. Trust me, no Jokes.

  • Douglas Breakfast - 2012-11-12 09:41

    henno i agree with U. last week homes were demolishd in Lenasia. now u get people crying 4 insured holiday houses. life stinks expecially when u are poor

      narike.lintvelt.9 - 2012-11-12 09:53

      And who demolished the homes in Lenasia, Douglas? What is your point here?

  • Matthew.and.Denise - 2012-11-12 09:58

    If the risk of lots of thatch and a small fire brigade was present why not have a pump station in the area using the unlimited sea water!?

  • pierre.basson.94 - 2012-11-12 10:20

    Do we care when 200 Shacks burn down in an informal settlement - no???. So why do we care that people with money and insurance loose their holiday homes!!!!!

      kaapse.snaai - 2012-11-12 10:44

      as heartless and cruel your statement may sound, it is true.

      rodney.bevan.58 - 2012-11-12 16:42

      Speak for yourself Mr. Basson, there are many people who care, whether it be shacks or mansions. Just because you are heartless, doesn't mean the rest of us are.

  • janet.mcdonaldbelstead - 2012-11-12 10:51

    Regardless whether you are rich or poor, whether you have insurance or not, the tragedy of the entire situation is that it should not have happened in the first place! Thankfully no lives were lost, but this town will now forever be scared by the devastation. The mental anguish will take it's toll on people... young and old alike, residents and holiday makers.

      janet.mcdonaldbelstead - 2012-11-12 10:54

      PS. And who is to say that if you are a resident in a "better" area that you are insured? We lived in St Francis Bay many years ago and did not have insurance as we could not afford it - we were students renting an apartment, and my parents were renting their own place in the village. If tragedy struck, we would have been left with zero!

  • hendre.kleynhans - 2012-11-12 15:20

    Just measured on goggle earth, the old fire station was about 650 metres from where the fire started if I am not mistaken. Why pay rates if there is not proper services???

  • slsanderson78 - 2012-11-14 18:46

    st francis bay do have a fire station but its only a volunteers station - it isn't manned 24 hours a day. I know this as its my Dad Keith Donaldson that set it up. so i think the facts of this report are wrong.

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