Monday, 12 November 2012

76 St Francis Bay homes razed

Forensic experts from Port Elizabeth have made their way to St Francis Bay, where a raging inferno gutted 76 houses.

The runaway fire is believed to have started in the Royal Wharf area of the coastal town at about 5.30pm yesterday afternoon.

It took firefighter hours to extinguish the flames, which razed between five and 10 homes at a time.

All residents were safely evacuated.

People on the scene today say the area looks like it has been demolished by a bomb, with houses reduced to mere shells.

Shocked home owners have been examining their properties and are trying to salvage what they can from the ruins.

The forensic team will try to determine what caused the fire.

Laura-Leigh Randall, who is with the Kouga Municipality, says officials will be monitoring the area closely to ensure that there are no flare-ups.

She says it was incredible to witness the local community coming together to help distressed residents.

"One of the great characteristics of the St Francis Bay community is that they always come together in an amazing way when disaster strikes. Last night was no exception. People really rallied around; they were offering accommodation and food to those affected. So, a big thumbs up to everyone from St Francis."

Meanwhile, thousands of messages of support have been posted on Facebook and Twitter for the residents.

- East Coast Radion News

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