PICS & VIDEO: Runaway grass fire destroys Durban's man flat, four cars
Peter Solomon, of Figdale Close, was counting his losses after a bush fire apparently got out of control from a neighbouring grass patch. Solomon, who manages a recycling business in Nandi Drive, said he received a call from neighbours informing him of a grass fire that was spreading.
“I thought it was just that, a grass fire. While on my way home, my neighbour called me for the third time. I then realised it was serious. Neighbours put up a brave fight with the resources they had. Two fire hydrants in the vicinity were also not working. This delayed the fire department,” Solomon said.
Part of his semi-detached double-storey flat, a Uno, a Toyota Corolla, a Toyota Camry and an Isuzu bakkie parked on his property were burnt out.
“Who’s going to come forward and say they started the fire? I’m living here for five years and still have to pay the bond,” Solomon said.
Neighbours said they used hose pipes and buckets of water, but the fire could not be contained.
Durban North Fire Department divisional commander Jesse Yasudas confirmed that two fire hydrants were not working. Firefighters found a working hydrant about 100m away.
“We got a call that a house was alight. A vehicle was in the area and arrived promptly. By then the fire was spreading to items in the yard and the motor vehicles.
“The heat from the inferno caused considerable damage to one phase of the back wall. Firefighters contained the fire and stopped it spreading in the house,” he said.
Yasudas attributed the non-functioning hydrants to major roadworks taking place in the vicinity.
“It took time to extinguish the fire because of the items in the yard. The surrounding bush was not maintained and was about four to five metres high,” he said.
Yasudas advised residents who have grass or bush near their properties to create fire breaks.