UPDATE: Family of three dies in Knysna blaze

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Fire rages in Knysna on 7 June 2017.

KNYSNA – A farm worker, his wife and their son have died in a fire near Rheenendal, Knysna.

The fire in Knysna is being fuelled by strong winds from a cold front, causing damage to homes.

It trapped some people in the CBD.

The local fire chief, Clinton Manual, said the fire threatened Belvidere and was spreading fast towards Brenton-on-Sea. These areas were evacuated

Several residents from a local old age home between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay had been evacuated as well as the Brenton community hall.

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Fire crews from neighbouring muncipalities were helping Knysna firefighters.

According to Western Cape Local Government MEC Anton Bredell’s spokesman, James Brent-Styan, the fire in Knysna was “completely out of control and 13 houses at Springveld were evacuated”.

George firefighters were meanwhile deployed to assist with another fire in the Wilderness area.

 

Styan said a house along the N2 highway was destroyed, also by a fire.

While the Southern Cape did not experience the same significant level of rainfall that hit the Cape Peninsula overnight, strong winds were fanning the fires situated in dry, dense vegetation.

A reporter from the Knysna-Plett Herald who was  trapped in the centre of the town said people were trying to get to the sea.

“My house is actually under threat at the moment so what my colleagues and I are doing is we are heading towards water basically," said Stefan Goosen.

" A lot of areas in Knysna are becoming engulfed either in smoke or in flames so the best thing we can do is we can head to the water. To the waterfront, yacht club, you’ll even see the streets around us are empty.

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