13 Nov 2012
Real estate group Chas Everitt International has put up R30 000 to boost the Friends of St Francis Fire fund and provide better equipment and training for the local volunteer fire company.
The donation comes after a huge fire destroyed 75 buildings, which, according to the Kouga municipality, included 68 houses and six flats, in St Francis over the weekend, leaving the community devastated and struggling to come to terms with the effects.
“Our volunteer firemen under the direction of Keith Donaldson, along with the local NSRI members, did an exceptional job in helping to fight Sunday’s blaze and get it under control without any loss of life or serious injury,” says local Chas Everitt franchisee John Cooper.
Cooper says they are proud of all of the NSRI members and grateful to Keith and his volunteers for all the work they do and sacrifices they make to help and protect the community, which doesn’t have a municipal fire or rescue service.
“They are real heroes but they don’t even have proper protective gear such as masks and boots let alone enough equipment, so we are donating R30 000 and asking other local businesses to contribute too, to help keep them safe while they are unselfishly helping others.”
Meanwhile his agency has been working non-stop to contact and update the owners of the homes in its rental portfolio - many of whom don’t live in St Francis – as well as the holidaymakers who had already paid deposits to rent some of the destroyed houses during the coming season.
Cooper is happy to say that although they offered to refund their deposits, every one they have contacted so far has said they are still determined to come to St Francis and have asked the agency to try to find them alternative rental accommodation.
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