Three boys blamed for fire panic in suburb

Theunise Avenue residents in Greenfields, East London had to use buckets of water to put out a bush fire that threatened three families last night.

Buffalo City Metro firefighters also arrived and successfully extinguished the fire allegedly started by three boys. The boys, aged 16, 12 and 10, were allegedly burning copper pipes when the fire got out of control shortly before 6pm.

Trading in copper is illegal in the country. Sydney Street resident Jackie Smith said the fire started behind a granny flat.

“We were sitting in the house watching TV and then we started hearing this cracking noise. My husband went out to look and saw the blaze behind our house.

“It was quite scary and burning close to the boundary wall. I called my daughter because the last time there was a fire was 16 years ago and I was with her,” she said.

Smith and her husband used buckets to get water from the swimming pool and tried to put the fire out. They were also joined by other residents while they waited for municipal fire fighters.

They claimed the two fire trucks and a bakkie arrived an hour late.

Residents blasted the “mischievous” boys, complaining that they disturbed the peace in the neighbourhood.

Mbuyi Ndlovu, 58, said: “I was about to serve supper to my gardener when I saw this big light shining from the windows which was the big blaze from the bushes. “These three boys are lawless and terrorise the neighbourhood.”

Thabang Sejosengoe, 55, said: “In January those boys trespassed in my home and harvested my spinach. I reported them to their mothers but their mothers just asked me how much I wanted for the spinach.”

The Dispatch saw the 16-year-old inside the police van, who was later released to his parents.

BCM spokesman Samkelo Ngwenya and police spokeswoman Hazel Mqala could not be reached for comment at the time of writing. —

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