Mall fire quickly ex­tin­guished

Talk of the Town - - Front Page - LOUISE KNOWLES

A FIRE broke out at the Her­itage Mall last Fri­day when boxes stored in a pas­sage be­hind the shops caught alight.

The mall was filled with smoke and cus­tomers lifted their shirts to cover their mouths in Pep Stores, which was so full of smoke it closed its doors.

Main­te­nance worker Ian Lewis, from All Sort Main­te­nance, said card­board boxes kept in the pas­sage be­hind Pep Stores had caught fire.

The cen­tre man­ager at Her­itage Mall, Zanel Ven­ter, said the fire might have been started by a smoker care­lessly toss­ing a cig­a­rette butt.

“For­tu­nately, we keep the pas­sage neat and it was quickly put out. The fire was out be­fore the fire bri­gade ar­rived,” Ven­ter said.

The fire was dis­cov­ered by the clean­ing team which had their of­fice at the end of the pas­sage, Ven­ter said.

Ac­cord­ing to a man­ager at Pick n Pay, Jarred Moss, the fire started at 11.15am.

Moss was work­ing nearby when a se­cu­rity guard alerted him. Moss grabbed a fire ex­tin­guisher, and he and the se­cu­rity guard put out the fire.

The se­cu­rity guard, Velisani Mag­ingxa, of Lunotha Se­cu­rity Ser­vices, said he was alerted to the fire by col­leagues. When he got there he found fire ev­ery­where in the pas­sage and called Moss. They started to con­trol the blaze and soon every­one came to help.

Mag­ingxa said it took about 45 min­utes to put out the fire.

The fire bri­gade and the am­bu­lance ar­rived, but no one was hurt.

Ma­sonic Street in front of the mall was blocked by emer­gency ve­hi­cles and a traf­fic of­fi­cer was on point duty.

Pic­ture: LOUISE KNOWLES

FAN­NING FLAMES: Air con­di­tion­ing units be­hind Pep Stores fanned the flames when news­pa­pers and card­board boxes stored in a pas­sage caught fire last week. The pas­sage was filled with heat and smoke

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