Historic Non-Pareille farm house burnt to the ground, says farm watch group

(Photo by fire commander Daan van Leeuwen Boomkamp via Drakenstein Farm Watch Facebook)
(Photo by fire commander Daan van Leeuwen Boomkamp via Drakenstein Farm Watch Facebook)

The historic Non-Pareille farm house in Roggeland in Paarl has been burnt to the ground.

According to Drakenstein Farm Watch, the farm house was destroyed by the blaze on Saturday night.

In a statement, released by the organisation on its Facebook page, the farm watch group said it worked with the Paarl Fire Brigade and the District Winelands Fire Brigade to fight the inferno but they could not stop it.

"Around 18:10 the Drakenstein Farm Watch emergency control centre received a WhatsApp with an emergency call and picture of a distance fire. The sender of the message on the emergency hotline, George Kirchner, the owner of a historic farm which was also burnt in 2017, knew from experience, that no time should be lost.

"The three fire fighting entities launched a big offensive, but despite the efforts the entire roof section and thatch and historic beams are lost. The Drakenstein Farm Watch assisted with two 4x4 vehicles of which one carries 8000 litres and kitted with two water cannons and 700 litres skit unit operated by Anton Kolb," read the statement.

"Unfortunately the thatch roof caused so much heat, that although efforts (to save) the building must be regarded as a loss. All teams prevented the fire to jump to the neighbouring structures, also with thatch. The reason of the fire is yet unknown. No personal injuries were reported." concluded the statement.

It's unclear at this stage whether other buildings on the farm were damaged.

The farm watch group recently signed a memorandum of cooperation with Paarl Fire and Drakenstein municipality and was endorsed as an auxiliary volunteer fire fighter group.

In May last year, the South African Heritage Resources Agency issued an invitation for quotes from quantity surveyors to restore several heritage buildings on the farm.

This story will be updated as more information is received from the municipality and its emergency services unit.

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