‘History is burning’ — devastation caused by raging Cape Town mountain fire

19 April 2021 - 09:54 By cebelihle bhengu
A helicopter water bombs the fire near the Jagger Library at the University of Cape Town.
A helicopter water bombs the fire near the Jagger Library at the University of Cape Town.
Image: Ruvan Boshoff

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:


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