Fire destroys cars, workshop

2013-05-04 00:00

FIVE people who took their cars to Subaru for a service got a nasty shock yesterday when they were told their vehicles had been destroyed in a fire.

The burnt wrecks of cars and scattered debris greeted workers yesterday at the Subaru car dealership in Edmond Place, Camps Drift, after a fire swept through it on Thursday night.

Thirteen cars were damaged to the tune of an estimated R2,7 million.

Some of the cars were parked inside the workshop overnight for services or repairs, while others were courtesy cars.

The shocked customers will have to claim from their own insurance companies.

The owner and managing director of the Subaru dealership, Howard Christie, told Weekend Witness that he was waiting for an investigation to be completed.

“We have managed to find alternative place across the road for the workshop and other operations will continue on these premises. This is hard for all of us.”

The workshop would be up and running by Tuesday, he said.

Christie declined to reveal the names of the owners of the cars that had been damaged. He said those who had been contacted were shocked at the bad news.

According to Msunduzi fire department investigator Rodney Trenam, only two cars were pulled out of the workshop.

He said they received the call at about 8.30 pm from a security guard who works at the company across from the dealership.

He said they rushed to the fire to find that the workshop was locked and thick smoke caused limited visibility.

The buildings were covered in insulation that is very combustible.

“The fire got into this insulation and spread across, causing burning flares of insulation to fall down.

“That is what contributed to the spread of this fire and the damage you see to the other vehicles.”

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

The smell of smoke and burnt plastic hung in the air yesterday morning. Some of the burnt cars were left standing on their rims as their tyres were burnt to almost nothing. Bumpers and windscreens were melted beyond recognition.

Workers stood helplessly in the yard, in disbelief at what had happened. “There is nothing we can do today. Most of the building is full of water after the fire,” said an employee who did not want to be named.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said no foul play is suspected.


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