Fire Horror – Devastating fire in Kuisebmond

Eighteen shacks up in flames

Vandalized fire hydrants worsen fire fighters’ job

Rudi Bowe

Strong winds and vandalised fire hydrants made it extremely difficult to extinguish a devastating fire that destroyed at least 18 shacks in Tutaleni, Kuisebmond on Saturday 24 August. The fire started in the backyard shacks of three main houses and left between thirty to fourty people homeless.

The fire started just after lunch in one of the shacks and the strong wind quickly caused the fire to spread to the neighbouring shacks. All the shacks were destroyed while the main houses on the same plots sustained only some damage. The occupants of the shacks lost all of their belongings.
The Chief of the Walvis Bay Fire Brigade, Dennis Basson said that the Fire Brigade reacted immediately even before the Emergency alarm was sounded. “ Vigilant fire fighters saw the smoke rising into the air and this made responding very fast,” Basson said. Some of the hydrants in the vicinity of the blaze were damaged by vandals and thieves and this made the work of the fire fighters extremely hard. Basson added that the damage caused to fire hydrants in Walvis Bay by vandals is a problem that keeps the fire brigade from executing their task efficiently. As a result, the fire fighters had to rely on the mobile water supply truck to extinguish the blaze.
The heat from the east weather conditions over the past week along with strong winds contributed to the fast spreading of the fire. The men extinguished the fire and kept it from spreading to more houses. Nobody was injured, and the cause of the fire is still unknown. The value of the destroyed and damaged properties is not yet known.

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