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Posts Tagged ‘Fire’

Thursday 3 June 2010

Between 4 and 5am

A short thunderstorm wakes me in Somerset West. Jipe barks at the thunder. I go back to sleep. A bit of rain falls, but not much.

About 10am

Dad calls from Betty’s Bay: “Just want to let you know the mountain above us is on fire. No need to panic yet, just an early warning.” Obviously this morning’s lightning started a fire. I go about the day as per normal and check in with the folks from time to time.

About 10pm

I talk to mom. They’ve packed essentials (change of clothes, documentation) and placed everything in the entrance hall. Friends in the community have been quick and generous with offers of help. Two of their largest paintings have already been moved to the Ficks. The Bossengers brought their trailer to the house and it is filled with books and wine. Books would be difficult to pack in a hurry – my folks have quite a large number of books they would be devastated to lose.  Wine would be awkward to pack in a hurry. A dropped bottle can never be recovered. I wish them well and go to sleep.

11pm

I’m woken by an SMS. “Packing cars”. I have a difficult night tossing and turning, wondering what’s going on in Betty’s Bay but not wanting to call and wake them or interfere with things at a possibly critical moment.

Friday 4 June 2010

8am

I call the Bossengers. The folks are still in the house – it hasn’t burned down yet. Call the folks. Mom answers. Fire still a way off, but probably just a few hours away. She’s had two hours of sleep. Dad is talking to the fire chaps up the road in the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens. Sister Cathy & her husband John are on their way from Cape Town. I decide to leave it up to dad to decide if they need me. He calls later and I take the seats out of Melanie’s car and pack the roofracks, grab a torch, pocket camera, cellphone and charger and I’m off – leaving the wife to look after the dogs. (more…)

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