Table View fire endangers hotel

A fire came close to the Dolphin Beach Hotel last Thursday.

A fire in the Table Bay Nature Reserve, which came within metres of the Dolphin Beach Hotel complex, has heralded the start of the wildfire season.

The smell of smoke woke residents at about 1am last Thursday.

Second-floor flat owner Peter van der Grinten said he saw “flames already metres high” when he looked out his window.

Firefighters were on the scene by 1.36am, according to the Fire and Rescue’s Theo Layne.

“One fire engine, two water tanks and one skid unit were dispatched with 11 firefighters,” he said.

Before firefighters arrived, two residents used garden hoses to wet vegetation near the complex.

Mr Layne said the cause of the fire was unknown, but Mr Van der Grinten suspects somebody’s cooking fire in the reserve was to blame. He took a picture of a burnt tin and what looked like two small potatoes about 120 metres away from the complex.

“Vagrants enter the reserve at spots where the fence is broken. It is usually from the main road that they enter the reserve and not from the beach side,” he said.

“There must be more clean-ups in the reserve especially with the upcoming dry summer season.”

Last week, the City announced the start of its seasonal firefighter programme, which employs an extra 114 firefighters to tackle veld fires during the hot summer months.

On Saturday, the City fitted 500 smoke alarms in the homes of Khayelitsha residents who were caught up in an October blaze that killed one person, razed more than 300 shacks and left about 1000 people homeless.