Posted on: February 12, 2009 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

South Africa. Last week, just east of Pretoria in Watloo, millions of rands worth of groceries went up in smoke when the Big Save warehouse caught fire.

The fire was so big that the Tshwane Emergency Services had to bring in all the fire engines from nearby stations. It took more than 4 hours to extinguish the fire. Eight fire engines including aerial platform machines, and 35 firemen were used on the site.

It is estimated that the groceries stored in the warehouse in Mundt Street were worth more than R3 million.

Emergency services spokesman, Johan Pieterse said they received a call to attend to the fire just before 7am. “Silverton station was the first to arrive to find the factory engulfed with fire. Firecrackers and aerosol cans that were inside caused the fire to spread quickly,” said Pieterse.

“It was difficult for our firemen to go inside because part of the roof collapsed. There was fear that if we got our firemen inside, the other part could fall on them, so we made sure there was no danger before they went inside,” said Pieterse.

No one was injured or suffered smoke inhalation during the fire and part of the 4 000sqm factory was saved.

A preliminary investigation indicated the fire could have been caused by an electrical fault but forensic investigators will be sent in today.

It seems as if fire safety regulations were not in place in the warehouse. During the fire, a sprinkler was seen spraying water in the opposite direction, leaving an impression that no fire safety inspection had been conducted in the building.

Source: The Citizen
By: Tshifhwa Shonisani