The fire that ‘ate’ a cottage next to Paterson Park in Norwood has left many people with more questions than answers.

Some even blame the fire department for their slow response, saying their response time to emergency issues is questionable.

The fire started just after Old Year’s Eve, raising suspicions it might have been due to firework

There were no fatalities, however, a cottage on a property nearby the park was the only damage reported.

Ward 73 councillor, Eleanor Huggett, when contacted on 4 January, said it is still unclear what caused the fire. She said she had heard the rumours that suggest that fireworks might have started the fire but said a tree could have fallen on a power cable and caused the fire.

“However, I cannot really confirm as I have just got home from KwaZulu-Natal but will be meeting someone who was there to find out exactly what happened,” said Huggett.

Russell Cohen posted on the Love Norwood Facebook page and said, “As far as we’re aware, the fire was unrelated to fireworks. It’s believed to have been started by vagrants lighting a fire in what is left of Paterson Park next door.

It is apparent that during the fire, there was a loud bang which residents claim it was a gas explosion. “We think the noise was a gas bottle exploding [unconfirmed]… the first fire truck arrived almost an hour later but was initially unable to find a working fire hydrant.

“Perhaps we should ask our Ward 73 councillor to look into the unacceptable slow response from the fire department, and why the two closest fire hydrants on the corner of Algernon and Sidonia roads were not functional… It’s possible, even likely, that the cottage could have been saved if the response had been quicker and the infrastructure working,” posted Cohen on the social media site.