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‘I had two calls in rapid succession indicating that they had seen three individuals moving through the bush starting fires,’ – JP Smith

"...he may have started a fire that accidentally got out of his control from cooking or otherwise."
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'I had two calls in rapid succession indicating that they had seen three individuals moving through the bush starting fires,' - JP Smith

Police in the Mother City have detained a suspect on suspicion of arson, following the fire that has spiraled out of control in Cape Town.

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Cape Town fires: 35-year-old man arrested in Philip Kgosana Drive for alleged arson

Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said the suspect had been caught by a local, who had tracked him down with the help of his kids and the family’s dogs.

“I had two calls in rapid succession indicating that they had seen three individuals moving through the bush starting fires. When one of the officers arrived at the urban edge he found a man present at one of these fires. The officer then interrogated him and the guy said he was trying to stop the fire but then he also immediately said he started the main fire,” Smith said while giving an account of the suspect’s capture.

Smith also told Cape Talk that based on experience the fires, very often are the outcome of people making fires in the bush.

“It won’t be clear until all the documentation, investigation, and witness statements are in, but the short of it is that when the officer asked him he said ‘but I started the fire’ and the officer then asked him if he meant the original fire – so he may have started a fire that accidentally got out of his control from cooking or otherwise. this will now have to be a criminal investigation and there will be substantial consequences for him,” Smith said.

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