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Athol Trollip praises firefighters battling wildfires in EC metro

The Nelson Mandela Bay mayor described firefighters as miracle workers who prevented further damage.

FILE: Firefighters are reportedly trying to extinguish the fire that’s also engulfed the library and music blocks at the Woodridge College and Preparatory School near Port Elizabeth. Picture: Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

CAPE TOWN - Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip has lauded firefighters battling a wildfire in the Eastern Cape metro.

The blaze gutted several buildings at Woodridge College and Preparatory School on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth on Saturday night.

The blaze in the Van Stadens area was fanned by strong winds and forced the closure of the N2 between Port Elizabeth and Jeffrey’s Bay.

Some homes in the Van Stadens area were also destroyed by the fire, along with some of the school’s administration building, library and music blocks.

Pupils were evacuated several hours before the school caught alight while residents nearby were also told to leave their homes.

Municipal spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki says saving lives was the priority.

“We’ve evacuated every in the area. Only police, firefighters and security cluster remain in the area.”

Trollip described firefighters as miracle workers who prevented further damage.

He also commended the unity of those who rallied behind the fire crews in difficult conditions.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)