But Theo Layne, station commander for the fire and rescue service, said, “The responding vehicles had water in them at the time of dispatch”. He said, “Fire engines are always replenished with water after every incident that they respond to. The officers in charge of each vehicle will not make the resource available for dispatch unless the vehicle is full of water … One tank of water on a fire engine only holds 2,500 to 3,000 litres of water, depending on the type of vehicle, and at full pumping pressure will only last for an average of three to five minutes before the vehicle has to be replenished again. To supplement the available water for firefighting, we dispatch water tankers which carry on average 5,000 litres of water.”
“One adult female, known as asthmatic, suffered smoke inhalation. She was treated on the scene by fire service medics but she refused transportation to hospital,” said Layne. He said the City has not yet determined the cause of the fire.
Buyiswa Maguzu said, “My kid fetched me from the [hair] salon. When I arrived in my area, the smoke choked me, preventing me from entering my shack. I wanted to take out my ID because I’m looking for a job.”
“For years I sold sweets on the train from Philippi to Cape Town in order to get cash to buy the shack and other things. Now I don’t know where I will get money to rebuild the shack because I’m no longer selling sweets,” she said.