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Man (34) arrested in connection with fatal Overstrand fire

A 59-year-old Pringle Bay woman was killed this morning as a result of the fire, while at least two other people were injured.

A fire on the mountain near Pringle Bay in the Western Cape. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – A 34-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the Overstrand fire which has caused at least one death.

Police say the arrest was made at about 10 o'clock this morning.

A 59-year-old Pringle Bay woman was killed as a result of the fire, while at least two other people were injured.

Firefighters have managed to contain the widespread Overstrand fire.

The blaze has been burning in Betty's Bay and Pringle Bay since New Year's Eve.

It's been speculated it was started by someone who fired a flare.

The Overstrand Municipality has offered a reward of R5,000 for information that could aid the investigation into the cause of the fire.

Scores of residents were forced to evacuate their homes overnight when flames - fuelled by strong winds - came dangerously close to homes in Pringle Bay.

They have since returned home.

The Overstrand Municipality has urged residents to keep roads around the areas affected by the fire clear for emergency vehicles as efforts to douse the flames continue.

Meanwhile, forensic investigator David Klatzow says the person who may be responsible for starting the Overstrand fire could be charged with murder as a result of the woman's death.

Klatzow says firing a flare when there is no emergency is illegal.

“In order to be guilty of a criminal charge, you need to have what we call mens rea, the guilty mind. And in such a case, even if you didn’t intend to start the fire, it’s an act of such consummate stupidity that you should have been able to foresee that potential.”

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