A wildfire that started Cape Town’s Table Mountain spread to a nearby university’s campus, destroying historic buildings and forcing 4,000 students to evacuate, reports say. The fire began in Table Mountain’s foothills on Sunday morning and reached the University of Cape Town campus, according to the South African National Parks service. In the devastation, a restaurant was destroyed, a university library was gutted, and South Africa’s oldest working windmill — the 225-year old Mostert’s Mill — burned down, according to reports.
The South African National Parks service, which oversees the Table Mountain heritage site, said that preliminary findings suggested the wildfire was started by a “vacated vagrant fire.”
Local media reported Monday that city’s law enforcement had placed one person in custody in connection with the origins of the blaze.
The University of Cape Town’s Jagger Library was severely damaged, but many valuable treasures were saved, the city’s mayor said. “I have been informed that some of the most valuable works were saved by the quick activation of roller doors. Our attention and support remain with firefighters and all role players working to protect further loss of property,” Mayor Dan Plato of Cape Town said.