‘History is burning’ — devastation caused by raging Cape Town mountain fire
Scores of social media users have expressed shock and sadness after raging Cape Town mountain fires destroyed the University of Cape Town’s Jagger Library and Mostert’s Mill among other heritage sites on Sunday.
Many shared messages of support and gratitude to members of the city’s firefighting department as they continue to work around the clock to contain the blaze.
City of Cape Town fire and rescue spokesperson Jermaine Carelse told TimesLIVE the department was alerted about the fire on Sunday morning.
“At about 8.45am the city’s fire and rescue service was alerted to a vegetation fire above Philip Kgosana Drive. Fire crews were immediately dispatched to the scene with the fire spreading from Rhodes Memorial towards the University of Cape Town (UCT),” he said.
UCT has suspended academic activities and affected students have been moved to emergency accommodation and provided with food.
JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, described the heritage losses as tragic.
“Tragically we have lost the Mostert Mill, which was built in 1796 and was the oldest surviving working windmill in SA, and four thatched-roof houses behind it. It is irreplaceable. I understand a building was gutted on the UCT campus and we have heard about the library. These are all tragic heritage losses,” he said.
These are some of the responses on social media:
Hitting refresh for Cape Town fire updates. Unbelievably harrowing and saddening to see flames from Rhodes Mem to UCT to Mostert’s Mill and more. Sending all my thoughts to folks in CT.— Nicky Schrire (@nickyschrire) April 18, 2021
This fire is making me sadder than it should ☹️ my old home is on fire. Old library. Everything 😔— Candice King 🐝✨ (@ItzCandyRox) April 18, 2021
Mostert’s Mill was one of those comforting landmarks on the way back in from the airport.
Feeling for all those displaced people and the animals 💔
A wildfire has swept down the back of Table Mountain and torn through the library at the University of Cape Town destroying irreplaceable collections of African studies literature.— Mary Lloyd (@MaryLloyd4) April 18, 2021
For four years I spent countless hours among those books. This is sickening to see. #uctfire pic.twitter.com/sQdzKAomiE
Meanwhile, my university is burning! That’s the Jameson Hall. I graduated inside that building. Heartbreaking images. University of Cape Town. Ranked 1st in Africa, 150 in the world. History, culture, what will the students do? #uctfire pic.twitter.com/cPQDywuRQ3— James Endersby (@JamesEnders) April 18, 2021