The true horror of the Knysna fires was revealed through a number of dramatic voice notes that circulated widely on social media on Wednesday night and yesterday.
As those who lost homes, had loved ones trapped in burning buildings and watched their possessions go up in flames sent voice notes begging for help, the sheer scale of their terror was revealed.
A desperate Knysna Heights woman, who gave her address, sobbed as she made her appeal. “Please, can somebody come and help. My husband and my father-inlaw, who is 71, are still stuck in the house. Please somebody help us.”
A man, who stuttered in shock as he recorded his message, said: “I can’t get hold of emergency services. Please, somebody help me. “Everyone at Eastford County Estate is surrounded by flames. “They need ambulances and they need fire engines. Please, can somebody help immediately, please.”
A schoolgirl tells of the widespread damage and her fear that nowhere in Knysna was safe. She says: “There isn’t one single place that isn’t on fire in Knysna.
“Every player in our hockey team has been evacuated, our school’s burnt, the OC’s burnt, Knysna Montessori is burnt, Knysna Primary is no longer safe, Main Road is not safe.
“Brenton-on-Sea gone, Brenton-on- Lake gone, Belvidere gone, oh, and East Head gone. It’s bad, it’s so bad.”
The gut-wrenching voice notes struck people to the core. Algoa FM presenter Charlton Tobias wrote on Facebook that the notes made him want to cry.
Port Elizabeth resident Nadine Larter wrote: “Voice notes from Knysna residents will gut you.”