Fire wrecks havoc

2016-04-14 17:20
A fire blazed through an informal settlement near the Salt River Market in Voortrekker Road.

A fire blazed through an informal settlement near the Salt River Market in Voortrekker Road. (Supplied)

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Midafternoon traffic came to a standstill near the Salt River Market in Voortrekker Road today (14 April) when a fire broke out at the informal settlement next to the railway line.

While three fire engines and one water tanker manned by 17 firefighters managed to quell the blazing shacks that were completely destroyed, there was also some damage to one of the stores at the market.

Theo Layne, media spokesperson for the fire and rescue services, confirmed that the fire started at about 13:30 but was quickly brought under control.

“Most of the fire was on Transnet property where these shacks were situated, but we were worried that it could spread to the market,” he said.

“One of the shops adjoining the shacks has suffered some damage and we are just standing by to douse the area to be certain that the fire won’t reignite. We are still investigating the cause of the fire.”

As the firefighters patrolled the area, some residents in the area had no qualms about pointing out the activities at the site was an accident waiting to happen.

A man who did not want to be named, said that there were many complaints about the area because there were constant fires where people were burning wires for copper.

“If the wind blows in the wrong direction, then that stench of something burning gets right into your house,” he said.

“You complain but nothing gets done.”

The business affected by the fire - Water Connection - had some stock destroyed due to the heat of the fire coming through the wall next to the shacks.

Feroza Sheik from the company explained how she thought it was a joke when people outside started shouting that there was a fire.

“We did not know what was happening, but then I went outside and saw the massive flames and screamed for the rest of the staff to leave the building,” she said.

“I just prayed that it would not spread to our building, but some of the flames crept through the roof, but luckily it did not spread even though we have lost a lot of our stock with water damage.”

Layne said that nobody was injured in the incident.

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