Fire destroys South Strand Library
Cape Town - The City of Cape Town said it will determine today the cost of damage caused by a fire that burnt down the South Strand Library on Saturday morning.
Mayco member for community safety and health Zahid Badroodien said the City's fire crew from Strand received a call at 5.37am and crews from Somerset West and Sir Lowry's Pass were dispatched. He said the first arriving officer informed the control that the building was alight and the fire was extinguished at 8.02am.
Badroodien said there was currently limited information on the incident as the City was waiting for the fire report to be issued once the inspection was completed.
“Upon my arrival, it was heartbreaking to witness the extent of the damage as the fire swept through the entire facility, destroying everything. The cause of the fire is still unknown at this stage as investigations are ongoing. The City urges any individual with information to report it immediately to law enforcement authorities,” he said.
Badroodien said the damage to the facility was devastating and would leave hundreds of regular users of the facility stranded, “while we urgently look to initiate the process of having services restored”.
Police spokesperson André Traut said an arson case was registered and no one had been arrested as yet.
Ward councillor Chantal Cerfontein said the library was a safe place for children and had broadened their knowledge, adding that the damage to the facility would affect the community negatively and put more pressure on other facilities.
“I think it is sad that such an historic library which has served the community for many, many years has burnt down. There is still no reason why or how the fire started.”
Cerfontein said: “It will now take a while for the library to be rebuilt, depending on whether we have the budget or not, but if there is one thing that cannot be replaced it is the memories most of the surrounding communities have growing up and being educated at a library of hope.
“Services such as photocopying, research, printing, just to name a few are no more and that was the only library which served that zone/area,” she said.