Firefighters Douse Fire After Suspected Arson at St. George’s Cathedral

Firefighters Douse Fire After Suspected Arson at St. George's Cathedral (News Central TV)

Firefighters battled to contain a suspected arson, after fire broke out in the basement of St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town in the early hours of Sunday.

The fire was in the basement of the Wale Street section of the cathedral and is suspected to be an arson attack.

“The fire was an act of arson. It appears that a lit piece of cotton/gauze was thrown through the small, barred window near the steps leading up to the cathedral’s Wale Street entrance. Someone was spotted running away from the cathedral,” said Father Michael Weeder in a statement.

Weeder added that the burglar bars had to be broken so that the firefighters could gain entry into the premises. Weeder said The crypt was inspected and it was dense with smoke.

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“Franklin James, the Cathedral Administrator, after being alerted by CCID, got there just after 2am. He was there with the fire brigade. One of our cathedral wardens, Catherine de Jong, travelling in from Blouberg, joined him at 3.45am. Their assessment of the cathedral established that, other than traces of smoke in the air, there was no discernable damage done –though the basement still needs to be accessed.”

“I am very grateful to our security, CCID, fire department and Franklin. If there was a slower response there would have been a different picture,“ said De Jong.

A police docket has been opened and an investigation is in progress.

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