Simon’s Town fire might have been arson

Cape Town fire

An investigation into the Simon’s Town fire that damaged at least 13 houses, completely destroying five, revealed possible arson.

Fire manager for Table Mountain National Park (TMNP), Philip Prins said a preliminary investigation was conducted.

TMNP is waiting for a full report.

According to Prins, 60 vegetation fires burnt down at least 300 hectares of fynbos and other vegetation from Simon’s Town to Atlantis in Thursday’s fire.

Mayco member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, said: “All fires are started by humans, whether deliberately or by mistake. Reasons range from cigarette butts to camp fires… The damage by this particular fire might be millions, considering the number of structures affected, but we don’t have the total value at the moment.”

Fire and rescue spokeswoman Liesl Moodie said 240 firefighters from the 30 various stations worked together to extinguish the flames.

The fire started as a vegetation fire on Wednesday and came down to Simon’s Town side of the mountain, forcing residents to evacuate their homes.

“The fires before were bad but in those we didn’t lose any homes. There was a south-easter blowing on Wednesday and during the night the wind direction changed, and that is what made it worse,” one resident, who asked not to be named, told the Cape Argus.

Roads leading into Simon’s Town and Cape Point reopened on Thursday night.

There were no fatalities or injuries reported.

photo credit: Cape Town Burns via photopin (license)