‘Ja‚ it’s a bit of a thing‚ but we will rebuild’‚ says victim who lost his home in devastating Knysna fires

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‘Ja‚ it’s a bit of a thing‚ but we will rebuild’‚ says victim who lost his home in devastating Knysna fires

Petru Saal | 2017-06-08 17:05:58.0

Fires burn near Knysna, South Africa

Fires burn at Buffelsvermaak farm near Knysna, South Africa June 7, 2017. Strong winds fanned fires which destroyed houses and prompted the evacuation of thousands of residents.

Image by: SIMONE TERBLANCHE
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REUTERS

Dave Rademeyer is heartbroken. He has just lost his memories‚ his home. The 40-year-old is one of thousands of Knysna residents who watched as their beautiful holiday town went up in flames.

Rademeyer and several others wondered aimlessly through the ruins as a dark blanket of smoke hung over the area on Thursday.

He had been living on Essendale farm for three years and in a matter of hours his home was no more.

“Ja‚ it’s a bit a of thing‚ but we will rebuild‚” said Rademeyer who struggled to express himself.

It will take time. Neighbourhoods have turned into horror scenes from the pages of a post-apocalyptic novel.

Telephone lines have been cut‚ there are power outages‚ cellphone signals are patchy. People’s faces tell a story of a hard night wrestling a fire that they might have underestimated or did not see coming. It sent families fleeing into the night to seek refuge at churches and yacht clubs.

Shane and Lesly-Ann Leech and their 12-year-old now call the angling club home. Lesly-Ann and her daughter were at home on Wednesday when a small fire threatened their home. Within a matter of minutes they managed to escape but not without the torture of watching it burn to the ground.



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