On Saturday, 27 June the members of the Mkhondo Fire and Rescue Unit were called out to tend to a fire in the field opposite the Mkhondo Taxi Rank, at the Piet Retief Dam. It is presumed to have been started by people who don’t give a damn.
It took the team approximately an hour to contain the flames and put the fire out. This area is usually very crowded and the situation had the potential to turn dangerous very quickly. A strong wind was blowing at the time.
Thick clouds of smoke disrupted the vision of motorists and caused individuals at the Taxi Rank and even at Mall@Mfula to cough and search for cover inside shops. Not the ideal situation.
On Sunday, 28 June the Mkhondo Fire and Rescue team was once again called out to the same area when troublemakers started a fire again. This time, it took them approximately an hour and a half to get the flames under control. What a shame!
Inhaling smoke for only a short time can cause immediate effects to the respiratory system. Smoke can annoy a person’s eyes, nose, and throat, and its odour may be nauseating. Studies have shown that some people who are exposed to heavy smoke have temporary changes in lung function, which makes breathing more difficult. It also causes headaches, reduced alertness, and can aggravate a heart condition known as angina.
The people who start these fires are irresponsible and clearly do not think about the consequences of their actions. Starting an illegal fire is a criminal offence and you can be arrested.
Think before you do next time. It may be fun for you at the time, but you can put someone’s life at risk with your careless actions.