Fire at De La Bat School for the Deaf
Late on Monday afternoon at around 15h00, the junior boys' hostel at De La Bat School for the Deaf in Worcester was extensively damaged in a fire. The Cape Winelands Fire Department responded swiftly, but the fire spread rapidly owing to windy conditions and was difficult to bring under control.
The hostel was immediately evacuated and I am relieved that no learners were injured. 17 learners and the "house mother" who reside in the hostel have however sadly lost all their personal belongings, hearing aids and text books.
The top storey of the school hostel suffered extensive damage in the fire while the bottom storey has suffered water and smoke damage.
A team from the department visited the school this morning to assess the damage and put in place contingency plans to accommodate the learners. In the meantime, the learners are being accommodated in other hostel accommodation at the school.
Learners returned to class this morning and counselling is being provided to those learners who were traumatised by the incident.
The cause of the fire is not yet known, but the Cape Winelands Fire Department are investigating.
I must wholeheartedly thank the local community and businesses who have already donated clothing and toiletries, and various other materials that are needed. We are very grateful for your support.