Police in South Africa have arrested a man on suspicion of arson at Table Mountain in Cape Town. The fire arose yesterday morning and is still raging because of the strong winds. Among other things, the Cape Town University Library and a centuries-old mill have been destroyed by the sea of flames.
According to local media, the defendant is a man of his early 30s with no permanent residence or residence. There were two other men involved, but they managed to escape.
Since the fire has not yet been extinguished, the authorities have called on people living on the slopes of Table Mountain to leave their homes. The University of Cape Town is partly built against those slopes. The library of that university has unique heritage properties for South Africa.
The director of the university library stated in a statement last night that the librarys reading room was completely burnt out. “Fortunately, the fire detection system activated the fire shutters, preventing the fire from spreading to other parts of the library.”
The fight against the flame may take days to come. The fire arose yesterday near a memorial site for Cecil Rhodes, a nineteenth-century British colonialist who became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony in 1890.
From there, the fire quickly spread over the slopes of Table Mountain:
It happens more often that on hot days fires arise in the mountains around Cape Town. Since yesterday, more than 250 firefighters have been deployed to combat the fire, including helicopters with water containers.