Cape Town – The historical Signal Hill Kramat has survived yet another mountain fire following a two-day blaze on Lion’s Head and surrounds.
While the veld around the building is scorched, the pristine white and green building stood unscathed on Tuesday.
The Cape Mazaar Society has described this as a miracle and believes divine intervention preserved the grave of the late Sheikh Mohamed Hassen Ghaibie Shah.
According to the Society, this was the fourth time in 30 years that the burial site has survived without a scratch.
Chairperson Mahmood Limbada says the caretaker of the kramat was not so lucky and has been admitted to Tygerberg Hospital as he suffered extensive burns while assisting firefighters.
The latest fire, which started on Sunday afternoon resulted in large smoke clouds hanging over the CBD and huge flames on the mountain slope that sparked panic among residents.
“The kramat is fully intact. The caretaker, Hamza, was injured because he helped fight the fire and is currently at the Tygerberg Burns Unit,” Limbada says.
“The fire swept through the area but the kramat was not damaged. It is the home of a saint and this is the fourth fire since 1982 and every time the kramat survives.
“It is definitely a miracle, (the saint) is one of the first Muslim leaders in Cape Town and the kramat has been there for almost 200 years.”
During an inspection on Signal Hill yesterday, Mayco Member for Safety and Security JP Smith said it appears the fire was started by people living on the mountain.
“We visited the place where it is believed the fire started and there is evidence of cooking utensils,” he said.
“At this stage the officials do not believe the fire was started maliciously, but we will be talking to SANParks about resources in terms of rangers on the mountain.
On Sunday, firefighters tackled three simultaneous fires along the mountain slopes. Luckily there was no property damage, but the incident with the caretaker could have been fatal.”
Fire and Rescue Services head control commander Craig Cyster says firefighters worked hard to keep the kramat safe.
“In any major fire, we prioritise according to threats to life, property and then environment.
“Firefighters helped ensure that the fire did not spread to the kramat. We also managed to stop the fire from spreading to the scout camp,” Cyster says.