Colleagues pay tribute to firefighter killed in Western Cape blaze
Cape Town - Working on Fire (WoF) paid tribute to base manager Cedric Seokoma, who died while fighting a blaze in the Simonsberg mountains in the Western Cape this week.
"He will always be remembered by his fellow team members and the fraternity of Working on Fire for his good sense of humour and dedication to his work," said WoF managing director Trevor Abrahams.
"On behalf of Working on Fire management and staff, we wish to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt condolences to the Seokoma family for the loss of their loved one."
Thirty-six-year-old Seokoma, who hailed from Limpopo, left a wife and family behind after he died on Monday.
WoF said that he died while trying to contain the fire that started on Saturday, February 3, at a forestry company, and which then spread into the Simonsberg mountains.
Twenty-five WoF firefighters helped bring it under control by Sunday evening, but unfavourable weather conditions and a high fire danger index saw the blaze spread again on Monday morning.
Working on Fire's Strand team - consisting of 20 firefighters, including Seokoma - were called out again on Monday to bring it under control.
Seokoma died during this operation.
A Huey helicopter and fixed-wing spotter plane helped get the other firefighters out.
"He started at the Working on Fire Sekororo Base in Limpopo as a firefighter in 2004 and moved up the ranks in the programme, from Crew Leader to Instructor and to the position of Base Manager, which he held until his untimely death," Abrahams said.
WoF is a government-funded initiative to create a force of firefighters and fire awareness officers. It has around 5 000 firefighters at about 200 bases around the country.
Funeral and memorial service arrangements will be announced soon.
WoF said donations in lieu of flowers, to his family, or for his funeral, are being accepted.
Seokoma's death comes soon after that of Candice Kruger on January 28. Also known as Ashley, Kruger collapsed while fighting a fire on Table Mountain, and later died.
She was survived by her wife Kelly.
A service in her honour is expected to be held at the Roeland Street Fire Station in Cape Town on Friday.