Over 80 South African Military Vehicles Destroyed By Fire – Lessons To Learn



No less than 83 SA Military vehicles were totally burnt at a vehicle depot at Wallmannstal, north of Pretoria last week.

The vehicles said to be worth millions of rand were destroyed as a safety fire became uncontrollable, owing to a change of weather. The safety fire was supposedly put because a military fire truck broke down.

“A board of inquiry was instituted and it should have a report on the cause of the fire or any loss this might have caused. We should have results in 30 days.” 

No one has been held responsible or penalized for the fire pending when the internal investigation into the incident is over. The perusal will likewise give the actual worth of the damage done by the fire outbreak.

A rough estimate predicts the damage to an amount to R6.7 million; given an “average market value of R80,000 for an old Samil truck”.

According to News24, this will be a repeat of such incident in South Africa. 2 years ago as much as 104 vehicles were gutted by fire aided by long grasses in the vicinity of the Kgosi Mapuru II prison in Pretoria.

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Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi, spokesperson for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) confirmed that 83 vehicles, most of which were trucks, were damaged while one was destroyed completely.

According to Mgobozi‚ the vehicles were unused and kept for spare parts.

“While the fire rescue team was busy with the firebreak procedure there was an unanticipated change of wind that caused the fire to take a different direction. Then the fire started. I can’t confirm how long it took for all the vehicles to catch fire.”

“They were not used or going to be used in the near future. The base used them for parts. Though they were disposal vehicles‚ some had useful and usable parts. They assisted with repairs.”



A report said emergency fire services from Wonderboom were employed to douse the fire.

SA military says regardless of the damage done, its operations will not be hindered in any way.

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It was also discovered that the vehicle park and a shed near it were used to house “very old and potentially highly unstable” explosives for years. At extremely high temperatures the bombs become hazards. Gratefully, no lives were lost in the incident.

Car fires can be either accidental or deliberate (Arson).

However, here are general tips on how to prevent car fires: 

1. Cars already contain combustible elements, thus further Inflammable materials should be kept away from the car. There’s a reason every car is equipped with fire extinguishers.

2. No smoking when driving or at fuel stations.

3. Safety fires as in the recent case should be carefully lit a reasonable distance away from cars. You never know what the weather can be up to.

4. Park Cars where there are no potential fire outbreaks.

Other car fire safety measures can be found here.

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