Home News UPDATE: Sol under fire after Vergenoeg house blaze

UPDATE: Sol under fire after Vergenoeg house blaze


Fingers pointed at Sol Plaatje Municipality fire department after local residents come to the rescue and extinguish house fire.

A fire broke out at a house in Boikanyo Street, Vergenoeg on Monday. Pictures: Danie van der Lith

THE SOL Plaatje Municipality has come under fire for allegedly failing a Vergenoeg homeowner, whose house was almost destroyed by a fire on Monday had it not been for community members who came to the rescue.

The fire destroyed the living room of the four-room house in Boikanyo Street, Vergenoeg before community members managed to douse the flames.

The community members were “not impressed” after the Sol Plaatje fire department allegedly “left them in the lurch” and they had to use buckets of water to extinguish the fire before it caused further damage.

The owner of the house, Jabulani Zaula, 49, was lost for words when he arrived on the scene and saw the damage to his house.

Zaula was apparently still waiting for the police to arrive and take a statement two hours after the incident.

He indicated that he was at work when he received a call to rush home as his house was on fire.

“Upon arrival I found that none of the bedrooms or the kitchen were affected … except for the walls being blackened by the smoke. That is all thanks to the community that I live in,” said Zaula.

He added that he did not know what caused the fire.

Zaula’s friend, who rushed from work with him, said that the community had already extinguished the blaze by the time that the fire brigade arrived.

“By the time the fire brigade arrived, late, they found that the community had extinguished the fire,” he said.

“The police only arrived at the house two hours later,” the friend added.

The Sol Plaatje Municipality questioned the time frame as relayed by the complainant.

Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie said the municipality needed to know at what time the call was logged.

“All call-outs are timed and there is a timeline that is established from leaving the fire station to arriving at the scene,” said Matsie. “From our experience, sometimes members of the community call the police who will then relay the call, which would delay the process.

“We are grateful that there were no fatalities. The community were the ‘first responders’, but that doesn’t remove our responsibility.”