Fire at the Ferryman’s

Owner ponders timing of offer to purchase on the day of the blaze

THE BAR AREA: The bar area at the Ferryman’s Hotel was gutted by fire in the early hours of Tuesday morning allegedly by thieves who made off with all the alcohol Picture: ROB KNOWLES

The Ferryman’s Hotel bar was gutted by fire in the early hours of Tuesday morning in a suspected case of arson after the alcohol was stolen.

ICONIC BUILDING: The outside of the Ferryman’s Hotel, one of the older buildings in Port Alfred Picture: ROB KNOWLES

The manager of the hotel, Godfrey Elms, was taken to hospital where he spent the morning after suffering from smoke inhalation. No one was seriously injured in the incident.

According to unofficial sources it was an early morning jogger who initially reported the fire. Contacted for comment, owner Johan Kleyn, who was on business in Cape Town at the time, told TotT he was phoned by the police just before 6am to inform him of the fire.

“I asked if the person at the other end of the phone was joking with me,” said Kleyn. “The policeman assured me he was not. It just came as a shock. All the plans we had been developing for the hotel suddenly gone.”

Kleyn then spoke of the unexpected phone call he had received just hours after he had learnt of the fire. He said an East London businessman called and reminded him that he had submitted a proposal to Kleyn sometime before to make an offer for the property.

Read the full story in this week’s Talk of the Town.

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