Homes damaged in fuel station inferno

2016-03-28 13:00
A blaze at the Mvoti Petrol station gutted three trucks and a home and damaged two other houses.

A blaze at the Mvoti Petrol station gutted three trucks and a home and damaged two other houses. (Kyle Venktess, The Witness)

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WATCH: Gas explosions, trucks burn at petrol station

2016-03-27 11:48

At least two trucks caught fire at the Ultra City near the Mvoti toll gate on Sunday morning.WATCH

Pietermaritzburg - A massive petrol and diesel fire at the Mvoti Ultra City on the N2 near Stanger gutted three trucks and caused damage to three homes on Sunday.

As firefighters battled the inferno, Mayor Ricardo Mthembu sought to assure holiday makers heading to the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal that the municipality could handle all emergency situations.

No injuries were reported during the incident, but Mthembu said that visitors “should not be scared” and that the situation was under control, despite water shortages in the area and hot weather that could bring about fires.

“From what we understand three trucks were destroyed but we are investigating the situation.

“Even though this incident took place at a time where water is scarce, we have enough resources to contain fires such as this one, to make sure it is contained and to shut it off,” he said.

“We do not usually have fires such as this, but our emergency services are highly trained to deal with these kinds of situations,” he said.

A cloud of thick black smoke could be seen from Ballito, some 20 kilometres away from the scene.

Curious bystanders stood along the cordoned off perimeter of the petrol station, which is situated only one kilometre away from the Mvoti Toll Plaza on the N2.

All staff from the building had been evacuated to emergency points.

Cecil Viramuthu, executive director of community safety for the municipality, said that the fire had destroyed one home behind the garage and partially damaged another two.

“Investigations are still taking place. The fire spread but was contained before it could cause damage to the main building of the garage.

The last fire was left to burn out as it was a diesel fire and needed foam to be extinguished rather than water.

“Even though there was sufficient resources to contain it, it was better to preserve the resources and allow the diesel to burn out,” he said.

Paul Herbst, operations manager at IPSS Medical Rescue said that off duty paramedics were at the station when the incident occurred and helped fire marshalls evacuate staff.

“ Luckily everyone inside the building managed to evacuate on time and no injuries were reported,” he said.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  fuel  |  fire  |  inferno

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