Homestead gutted in Geelhoutboom
Awell-known doctor from George and his wife Elize lost most of their earthly belongings in a fire that gutted his family home in Geelhoutboom on Sunday 30 September. The house of Dr Casper Gous, who has a practice in Blanco, was razed to the ground when sparks from burning pine trees next to the house ignited the thatched roof.
The George Fire Brigade was called to the homestead, 18km from George in the foothills of the Outeniqua mountains, at about 13:40 on Sunday.
Municipal spokesperson Chantel Edwards-Klose said three fire engines were dispatched and arrived on the scene within approximately 20 minutes. "A vegetation fire had ignited pine trees close to the main building and the flying embers from the burning trees ignited the thatched roof."
The main farmhouse, garage and lapa were completely destroyed. The two cottages were saved. No injuries were reported.
Gous had only praise for the firefighters. The main homestead as it appears on the old Arabella Guest Farm website. The lovely house was completely gutted on Sunday.
"If the fire engines had arrived five minutes later we would have lost the two cottages as well. The fire crew stayed until the evening, dousing the surrounding bush."
The house used to be a well-known guesthouse, Arrabella Guest Farm.
When the George Herald went to the farm on Monday afternoon, the embers were still smouldering and Gous's wife was too upset to speak to the journalist.
Gous said members of the community have been a pillar of strength for the family. "We are taking it one day at a time."
Within minutes the thatched roof went up in flames and all that was left were burnt stone walls.