- Latest update… 26 September 2021
A total of 39 shacks were destroyed in the devastating fire in the St Francis Bay suburb of Sea Vista on Friday night in the Cosovo area.
The cause of the fire is still unknown and investigations are apparently underway into the fire that started at around 10 pm on 24 September, according to eye witnesses. There have been many appeals for food, clothing, and cash donations from Samaritans in St Francis and further afield.
The Fire Department, sadly, but unfortunately, only arrived 45 minutes after being contacted, according to a Sea Vista community leader, Pastor Johannes Spekboom. He says he at first tried at least seven times to phone the Fire Department on the telephone but no one was answering.
He also tried unsuccessfully to phone the St Francis Bay SAPS, to no avail. When he finally spoke to the Fire Department, Spekboom says, three shacks were burning and he and members of the community tried unsuccessfully to put those fires out.
“There was no wind,” Spekbook says, adding that when the fire department finally arrived late, more and most of the affected shacks were burning. “When asked why they were late they said they had to fill up with water. When I went home at 1.45 am the fire engines were still there and their engines ran deep in the morning hours,” Spekboom says.
St Francis Chronicle awaits official comment when the municipality reopens on Monday.
Pastor Spekboom says those affected gratefully received food parcels yesterday and some clothing from the Disaster Volunteer Group (DVG) More clothing is needed, however, he says.
There are boxes at SuperSpar St Francis Bay for donors to put in donations, such as clothes, shoes, food, blankets etc.
On its FB website, the DVG is appealing for funds and a bank account has been provided to help destitute families rebuild their homes. The DVG also says that yesterday, “with the help of Pastor Johannes Spekboom, a local community leader, the families were soon identified. St Francis United Church, with Minister Paul Mosdell and David Truter, assisted in supplying, packing, and delivering 5kg nutritious porridge packs and amazing soup mix jars.
“How wonderful that the St Francis College provided fantastic soup mix jars, with instructions and messages and that they could be used for such a worthwhile cause,” Liezl Clause, who heads up the DVG says.
The DVG also says on its website it has called on the Kouga municipality and disaster management.
Photos Liezl Clause. Video from Calibre Security