A suspected arsonist was apprehended on Sunday night in connection with the fire that is currently engulfing the foothills of Cape Town’s Table Mountain, reports The South African.
Ward Councillor Nicole Jewell posted on Facebook that witnesses had told police that they had seen three people trying to deliberately stoke the blaze late on Sunday night.
“Unbelievable. Three arsonist witnessed starting three separate fires on Philip Kgosana drive. Seen by witnesses and running away. About 30 minutes ago,” she said, adding that fire service are on the scene but are “stretched beyond limits”
Several agencies responding to the devastating fire that ripped through a number of buildings on Sunday afternoon, including the UCT library, have claimed that the fire was started by “vagrants.” The Table Mountain National Park team has stated that three separate fires are causing problems for firefighters, and that they are confident that at least one of these was started “deliberately.”
Table Mountain National Park’s Philip Prins said that the latest blaze was certainly no accidental occurrence.
“Some of the crews are going to work a bit later and then be replaced with other crews. The area where we stand now is where noter fire started over an hour ago above De Wall Drive. There are three areas burning, and this was definitely started deliberately. We had to pull resources from the other fire and with assistance of the City we just contained these three areas,” he told The South African.
Firefighters are working through the night in an effort to try and stop the fire from causing more damage.
Public donations towards the firefighting efforts can be dropped off at the Roeland Street fire station. Anyone who wishes to provide donations is advised that the four items required are: water, Energade, snacks and eye drops.