“That is what happens. Most hydrants are not in good condition either they are damaged or they do not have enough pressure.”

Days later, a house in Northcliff, northern Johannesburg, burnt down.

Fire Ops, a privately owned firefighting operation​ which was the first on the scene after hearing about the fire on social media on Tuesday evening, took 12 minutes to reach the house in Acacia Road.

Fire Ops chief fire officer Wynand Engelbrecht said when its firefighting team reached the scene, the house was “very late” into the fire.

“We took 12 minutes. By then the house was well alight and nothing could be salvaged. We only protected the neighbours’ houses to make sure the fire did not spread,” he said.

“I am told the people only lived in that house for four days. They moved in four days before.”

Engelbrecht said the occupants escaped unharmed but two dogs were killed.

He said the Johannesburg fire department arrived at the house about 20 minutes after the Fire Ops team.

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