Woodridge gutted by fire, two dead in Thornhill fire

Woodridge College was severely affected by raging fires in the Thornhill area yesterday afternoon.

It is estimated that about 50 % of the buildings at the school have been burnt in the fire.

Two elderly people also lost their lives in the blaze that has been burning in the area since Wednesday afternoon.

At about 17:00 yesterday a 72-year-old woman died at her farm in the Thornhill area. Her husband was admitted to hospital with burn wounds but died during the evening.

An inquest docket was registered following the death of Myrna van der Riet (72) and her husband, Walter van der Riet (73) as a result of a fire on their Lang laagte farm.

The Longmore fire is still burning within Kouga’s boundaries. It is being contained but is not yet under control.

Firefighters are also doing mop up work at the Van Stadens gorge and Crossways.

There is no immediate threat to property.


Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen would like to appeal to residents to avoid travelling from Kouga to PE.

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“The roads are open but there are many sight-seers driving out to have a look at the fire and actually getting in the way of official fire-fighting efforts,” she cautioned.

She said visibility was also very bad in general because of the smoke.

“We would especially like to advise motorists to avoid the R102 as there is a possibility of damaged trees and branches falling into the road.

“Please also look out for livestock and wildlife that might end up in the roads as they run to escape the fires,” she warned.


The main need now is for food for firefighters. Prepacked food is preferred so as to allow for easy transport.

“Eye wash”, in small bottles so that the firefighters can keep it in their pockets, is also welcome.

Goods can be dropped off at the Humansdorp Fire Department, on the entry road to the town from the N2, at the Kouga Municipal building in da Gama Jeffreys Bay or at the Thornhill Hotel.

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