From the news desk

Simon’s Town fire may have been started deliberately

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A SA National Parks spokesperson says there are suspicions the fire that engulfed the southern Cape peninsula this week may have been started deliberately.

Table Mountain National Parks fire chief Philip Prins told News24 on Friday that early signs from the investigation into the fire’s cause indicated that foul play may have been involved.

“The fire did not start on SANParks property, but on the defence force’s property [in Simon’s Town].

“The report hasn’t been submitted in full yet, but there are suspicions the fire could have been started deliberately.”

Cape Town Fire and Rescue services though did not want to speculate on the cause of the fire just yet.

“At the moment we maintain that the cause of the fire is undetermined,” said Fire and Rescue spokesperson Theo Layne.

Both Layne and Prins said the fire had been extinguished for the most part by Friday morning, with two fire engines and two water tankers currently on site to monitor potential hotspots.

“The rain assisted a lot. At this stage there are no active flames, [but] we still have crews there that are monitoring,” Prins added.

CITY INVESTIGATING DAMAGES

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the city is assessing the total damage caused by the fire.

250 firefighters and police from Fire and Rescue, the Navy, Working on Fire, Volunteer Wildfire Services, Traffic and Disaster Management, as well as SANParks, had battled the blaze at the height of the fire.

The fire had spread into residential areas, and spread as far as the Main Road, Smith said. The blaze was eventually stopped by a firebreak.

“Six thatch roof bungalows were destroyed at R250 000 each,” Smith continued.

“Navy members are currently dampening down fire affected areas, and are trying to save a large tree next to the admiral’s house that continues to burn internally.”

The city’s safety and security director Richard Bosman said roads had been reopened on Thursday night.

Disaster Risk Management Centre spokesperson, Charlotte Powell had said on Thursday that the fire had reached 13 structures, destroying some and damaging others. News24


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