Chip pan fire guts burger restaurant

2011-01-14 00:00

ONE of Amanzimtoti’s most popular restaurants, the Clear Waters Spur Steak Ranch, was burnt to the ground yesterday morning after a fire started in the restaurant’s kitchen.

At around 8.50 am the Amanzimtoti Fire Department responded to the call that a fire had ignited in a chip pan. There were no patrons in the restaurant.

The fire rapidly gathered momentum and due to the height of the roof, a hydraulic platform was used by firefighters. More than three hours later, the fire was extinguished and firefighters began to remove the burnt rubble.

No one was severely injured in the fire, though the restaurant’s manager Wimpie Botha had both of his hands bandaged due to minor burns that he referred to as “just blisters”.

Botha’s wife, Samantha, stood outside the restaurant in tears and members of the public gathered around the scene giving their condolences.

An eyewitness who lives near the restaurant and wished to remain unnamed said that the fire was unlike anything he had ever experienced.

“We [he was with his wife] thought our building was on fire due to the smoke; it was very bad and we had to shut all our windows and doors and switch off the air conditioner,” he said.

“Our neighbour’s smoke alarm even went off.”

The restaurant’s staff initially attempted to put out the fire using the available fire extinguishers, but they were unable to stop the flames from spreading.

Group managing director for Spur Steak Ranches, Pierre van Tonder, said the situation was “regrettable”.

“The restaurant has been extremely successful to date and is an institution in the area,” he said.

“Most importantly, we are greatly relieved that there were no injuries to our patrons or staff.”

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