Ho­mes­te­ad gut­ted in Geel­hout­boom

George Herald - - News - My­ron Ra­bi­no­witz

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."

P­ho­to: K­ris­ty Kol­berg

Within mi­nu­tes the tha­t­ched roof went up in fla­mes and all that was left we­re burnt sto­ne walls.

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