Fire station torched during protest

Protesters attacked a fire station in Gugulethu‚ Cape Town‚ setting alight part of the building — which forced firefighters to vacate the premises just after 4am on Thursday.

Parts of the fire station were extensively damaged and a vehicle parked outside‚ belonging to a security company‚ was torched.

Firefighters who tried to help‚ from another station‚ were prevented from reaching the blaze after protesters blocked roads with burning debris.

Cape Town Fire and Rescue spokesman Theo Layne said early on Thursday: “Gugulethu Fire Station came under attack by protest action. The fire station was set alight.”

“Firefighters were forced to vacate the premises and remained in the drill yard until Metro Police and Law Enforcement had dispersed the protesters.

“The front of the fire station sustained severe damage‚ including the watch room‚ engine bay doors and security entrance gate. In addition to the fire station . . . offices at the rear of the station were also set alight. One office section sustained severe damage.

“Firefighters from Mitchells Plain fire station responded to the incident but due to blocked roadways‚ caused by protesters‚ by placing burning debris and tyres on the roadway‚ they had to take a long detour. Fortunately no injuries occurred‚” Layne said.

It was not immediately clear why the fire station had been attacked.

- TimesLIVE