Mall fire quickly extinguished

FIRE TRAP: 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 Picture: LOUISE KNOWLES

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

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 may 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 has their office at the end of the passage, said Venter.

According to a manager at Pick n Pay, Jarred Moss, the fire started at 11.15am. Moss was working nearby when a security guard came past and 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 that 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 and asked him if he was hurt, but he said he was not.

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

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