A blog covering life and happenings in Cape Town

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Fire in the Lions Head Pub

On Saturday I reported that a fire had destroyed our local pub here in Panorama.

In one of the local newspapers today it appears that the firefighters who were called out are now under the cosh for the manner in which they fought the fire.

The fire started upstairs in the kitchen of the pub and after being called out firefighters are accused of arriving with the incorrect equipment to fight the blaze.

Owners of the pub and the hair salon were highly critical that there was no attempt to save the pub or the salon.

According to reports the last vehicle to arrive on the scene was the fire engine with the long ladder which could reach the upstairs fire.

Firefighters were apparently not ready for action on arrival and took their time putting on their jackets and helmets while the building burnt down.

Having visited the pub on a number of occasions over the years I have always wondered what would happen should a fire break out.

All of the tables, nooks and crannies in the restaurant and bar were built of painted plywood.

Good for the creating of an ambiance but a fire hazard should a fire occur.

In the light of the above what could the firefighters have saved had they immediately pumped water onto the fire.

A wood fire burns quickly and once underway you might as well let it burn itself out as all the wood would eventually have to be replaced if the pub were to be rebuilt.

That appears to have been the attitude of the firefighters as well.

There plan was to protect surrounding buildings and once the fire was contained to put the fire out and this they carried through.

I suppose, being the owner of the pub or the hair salon, one has the right to panic and pass comment when things don't pan out the way you want them to.

In any event, a fire started in the pub and the owner must take responsibility for what happened.

What do you think?

Geoff Fairman

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