Plett mourns fallen firefighter

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - YOLANDE STANDER

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

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