Dale Steyn praises firefighters for saving Cape Town home

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Auckland, Mar 6: South African spearhead Dale Steyn praised firefighters who saved his Cape Town mountain home from the devastating flames which have engulfed one of the country's most popular tourist destinations.

World Cup Special

Emergency rescue workers said several homes were destroyed in the wildfires while one firefighter was injured as the inferno raged through South Africa's spectacular Table Mountain.

File photo of Dale Steyn (right)

An estimated 3,000 hectares of land have been destroyed, according to local media, with helicopters dropping water bombs on to the flames as exhausted fire crew struggled to extinguish the huge blaze, which has been exacerbated by temperatures of over 40 degrees.

Steyn, in New Zealand and Australia for the World Cup, said he received several calls warning that homes in Stonehurst would have to be evacuated.

"It wasn't easy. I was in Canberra and I left my phone on silent that night," said Steyn today.

"I had like 80 messages or something and 30 missed calls. So I quickly jumped on it and realized the fires were a lot closer to my home than initially thought.

"The scariest part came about 3:30 in the morning in Cape Town. I don't know what time it was in Canberra. But the people looking after my house called me and said, listen, you've got five minutes, we're evacuating." Steyn said he was asked by the authorities what he wanted saved in his house.

"'What do you want us to take out of your house?' I've never been more scared in my life," said Steyn.

"I am sitting halfway across the world, and everything that I've ever earned or gotten in my life, every wicket, every ball, every bit of clothing in my 31 years is in that house.

"So it was pretty scary to think what do you tell this person? They've got five minutes to take everything out. I was pretty much shitting myself." Steyn praised the firefighters for a remarkable rescue.

"Yeah, just tremendous job by all those firefighters and the volunteers that put their lives at risk and never met me before, never met most of the people.

"They were just kind of like throwing themselves at it and putting out those fires." Steyn said former team-mate Jacques Kallis's house was also hit by fire.

"Jacques' house, his lawn was on fire. If I was at home I'd dive straight into it and do what I can to help. It really is terrible. "A lot of animals, pets, homes, nobody should go through that kind of stuff. It's a pretty tough time back home right now."

AFP

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