Fire in Hermanus – Jan 2008

Fire in Hermanus – Jan 2008

I seemed to have got imaginations stirring with my photo of the chimney. Sadly there was no romantic, mediaval, or goblins tale to tell.

It was a devastating fire that swept along the mountain range in Hermanus last year. We happened to arrive for a family visit on that very same day. Burning cinders were carried by the wind and set fire to this once beautiful old thatched roof home. By the time we got there, the owners were standing, bewildered, next to their smouldering shell of a home. I think, if I remember, they were out at work at the time but lost everything in the blaze. (The mountain is in the background)

Jeanette – I took you there when we were visiting last month and all that was left was the empty stand, the fence and the gate. I took a photo of the gate and posted it in a previous Weekly Winners – 14-20 Dec

Below – Jeanette again – this is the house that was boarded up and you took a photo of the window. This house is a block away from the first one and on the sea front. It also was a beautiful old thatched roof home. There was also no-one in the house at the time of the fire.

The next photo is across the road which runs in front of the house pictured above.

The mountain ablaze – photo taken from my brother and sister in law’s home – the fire vehicles are visible at the top of the mountain ..

This is at the foothills of the mountain – not one modern house was touched by the blaze even though the fire swept passed their garden walls and fences. This wooden fence didn’t stand a chance. On our recent visit last month, we drove along this road passed this house, and noticed that a large brick wall has now been built. (pity about the reflection on car window which was closed because of the smell of smoke)

Firefighters on the mountainside
The fire still burned into the night – (photo taken from SIL’s home with full zoom lens)


A year later – when we were there last month – it was so nice to see that the fynbos (indigenous vegetation) has recovered well. There are still vast areas of blackened bushes but in-between the new growth is visible – green with pretty little flowers. On the way to the church, where we had my father-in-law’s memorial service, I noticed a bunch of red poppies growing amongst the blackened bushes – and I didn’t have my camera!

0 Replies to “Fire in Hermanus – Jan 2008”

  1. I know Fynbos needs fire every 10 to 15 years to regenerate, but fires in the Western Cape is a huge problem. One often wonders how many are from natural couses and how many are started on purpose.

  2. What a tragic situation…those poor people who lost their homes.Good photo’s…and I would never have guessed the story behind yesterdays entry.Pity you didnt have your camera, those red poppies would have made a magic photo.

  3. My mother’s sister (Christine de Kock) was in the house when the roof caught fire. She escaped with only her handbag. When she ran out the house the ceiling was already on fire. Al her photo’s memories and furniture was burned to ashes. She now lives in Caledon in theold age home

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