The City of Cape Town has condemned the violence, saying that damages at the fire station have been estimated at R1 million.
Police say about 150 people from the Cyril Ramaphosa informal settlement in Gugulethu went on a rampage when they stoned the building and set alight a security vehicle in front of the building shortly after 4.30am on Thursday.
One firefighter was left wounded after a brick hit him in the face.
Firefighters were forced to flee the premises and moved to the drill yard until Metro Police and Law Enforcement arrived to remove the protesters.
The staff will now operate from the Mitchells Plain Fire Station.
Protesters demanded water and electricity.
The City’s Fire and Rescue spokesperson, Theo Layne, said: “The front of the Fire Station had sustained severe damage, including the watchroom, engine bay doors and security entrance gate.”
In addition, the Fizeka offices at the back end of the fire station were set alight, with one of the office sections sustaining severe damage.
“Firefighters from Mitchells Plain Fire Station responded to the incident, but due to blocked roadways, caused by protesters burning tyres, had to take a long detour in order to get to Guguletu Fire Station,” Layne said.
In another protest-related incident, four motor vehicles and a store area were set alight, as well as the electricity depot near the NY 78 in Gugulethu.
Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, said the City is appalled by the attack on the fire station.
“The Gugulethu Fire Station is closed until further notice,” he said.
“It will take several days to ascertain the cost of the damage wrought in this callous attack, but on the face of it, we are potentially looking at as much as a million rand; money that will have to be diverted from another community project as the repair of the fire station is a priority.”
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk says a public violence case was registered for investigation.
“The reasons for the protest was for water and electricity for their houses. Police and other Law Enforcement agencies will remain in the area until law and order is restored,” Van Wyk says.