Plett mourns fallen firefighter
THE PLETTENBERG Bay community mourned the death of a fireman who died while fighting the devastating fire which destroyed large parts of the coastal holiday town over the past three days.
Bradley Richards. 24, a Plettenberg Bay South Fire Management Unit volunteer, died in the George Mediclinic yesterday morning as a result of injuries sustained during firefighting efforts on Wednesday.
A massive fire started in the Kruisfontein area outside Knysna, spread to Kranshoek outside Plettenberg Bay, burnt along the coast, cut inland and eventually moved towards the coastal holiday town of Harkerville in Plettenberg Bay by Wednesday night.
More than 100 residents gathered at the local fire station along Marine Drive where they left flowers and paid their final respects.
Otto Olivier, head of operations of the Plettenberg Bay Crime Prevention Association, addressed the crowd and said Richards was “a true friend and a fighter for his community”.
Bitou mayor Peter Lobese said that town had “lost a giant”.
“He sacrificed himself for nothing but the love of his community,” Lobese said.
Bitou mayoral spokesman Dumisani Mweba, who was with Richards and his colleagues during the firefighting efforts that claimed his life, said he was devastated by the news.
“Bradley was a hero who fought for his community right until the end. His passion was something to behold,” Mweba said. While in the field, Richards motivated his fellow firefighters and faced the dangers with bravery. “The fire that claimed his life was travelling at 70km/h…”– Garden Route Media