A 5-year-old girl presented a thank you card and note to 45 -year-old firefighter Charlton Matthyse to show her gratitude for him working hard to put out the fire at the Simonsberg wine farm. Firefighter Charlton Matthyse was able to make it through a 48-hour shift, which saw a team of over 100 bring the Simonsberg fire under control through the inspiration that came with the card.
Stellenbosch Fire Department reported yesterday that Simonsberg wine farms estate was engulfed in flames that can easily be mistaken for an erupting volcano. The fire that has been burning since Tuesday midday, has spread across 90km from Idas Valley, Simondium, to Paarl threatening other farms on the foothills of the mountain.
The card was covered in gold stars and decorated with a drawing of what seemed to be angry red flames, firefighter Charlton Matthyse said he was moved to tears when the little girl and her family delivered the special note along with a lunch pack and drinks.
The letter, signed Saba, reads:
“Dear firemen. I know you have been working hard for so many days. Thank you for being so brave. We appreciate all you are doing for us.”
Saba (Age 5)
“This makes it all worthwhile,” Matthyse, said on Friday 22 January, 2016.
“To this child, we are heroes. We may not wear superhero costumes, but she thinks the world of us and what we do. It’s overwhelming.”
As he read the note, his fingers were still covered in soot and he reeks of smoke, which he jokes “are the perks of the job” for which he signed up 18 years ago.
“As a child I was inspired by the cartoon Groenie Die Draak about a little dragon who wants to be a firefighter,” h Firefighter Charlton Matthyse said, as his colleagues laughed.
Matthyse said he was surprisingly energetic after his two-day shift unlike before and he attributed it to the note and card he received from the little girl
“I am still on a high. The team made great inroads during the night and things are looking much better.”