Business building catches alight

2017-08-11 06:00
Photo: siphelele nketoFirefighters and the community work together to put out the fire.

Photo: siphelele nketoFirefighters and the community work together to put out the fire.

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PEOPLE came to the rescue, and prevented a fire, which got out of control in a building between Barclay and Main streest in Kokstad last Friday evening, from spreading.
The cause of fire is unknown.

Witnesses said the fire started around 9pm inside the building, which is used by several businesses, and spread speedily until it was put out around 11pm.

Documents, computers, furniture and other items were lost, however, some business owners managed to remove some items. but others were not successful.

Three on-duty Kokstad firefighters and four, who were on standby, were called to the fire, aas well as firefights from Ixopo and Mount Ayliff.  

Nyaniso Msiya from Greater Kokstad Municipality said when the fire got out of control they asked Kokstad Chamber of Commerce staff to assist firefighters, who helped by transporting water in their vehicles.

“I want to thank everyone who assisted us to put out the fire,” said Msiya.

Kokstad has two fire engines, one is operational, but the other is not.
Firefighters said it was not easy for them to battle the fire because of a shortage of fire engines and strong wind. They said the water outlets on the fire engines don’t work properly which also makes it even more difficult.
Thomekile Ngodwana, Kokstad firefighter supervisor, said the building was not safe because the floor was of wood, making it easy to catch alight. He said there are many buildings that are not safe in Kokstad.

“We caution people to make sure they put safety first instead of ignoring our warnings. Many times we have told people about the risk of using wood flooring in their building,” said Ngodwana.

“Our thoughts are with people who experienced loss due to the fire and thank local farmers and community, who responded well to calls to provide back-up when the building was on fire.
“We are grateful to Msiya for communicating with the Chamber of Commerce during the fire,” said Candice Woods of the chamber.


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