Gugulethu left with only one engine after firefighters ambushed
Firefighters from Gugulethu‚ on the Cape Flats‚ were left traumatised after they were called out to extinguish a fire. Instead of battling flames‚ the five were met by a group of men who attacked them.
Cape Town mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said that at about 9pm on Monday‚ the fire station received a call about a fire.
Smith said no serious injuries were sustained. The fire engine‚ however‚ was badly damaged and will be out of service while it is being repaired — only one truck will now be available for the area.
Smith said that the firefighters were badly traumatised and will be receiving counselling.
Such incidents are not uncommon he said. In the last two years‚ seven similar incidents were reported. Smith said usually paramedic staff who are targeted. Unlike police officers‚ firefighters and paramedics do not carry guns and are soft targets.
Recently TMG Digital reported that between November 1 and January 12 the city responded to 5465 fires. This is an average of 75 a day.
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille took to social media asking whether the spate of fires were “accidental or coincidental”.
Smith has confirmed that investigators are looking into the origin of the fires which are “truly suspicious”.
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