7 shops destroyed in Brakpan fire, 8 residential flats suffer damage

The fire broke out in the early hours of Friday morning and spread to several shops, leaving many business owners with nothing to salvage.

Firefighters inspect the damage caused by a fire in Kritzinger Road in Brakpan on 12 February 2021. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Ekurhuleni Emergency Services has confirmed that seven shops have burned down to the ground, while eight residential flats have been affected by a blaze that broke out in Brakpan.

Firefighters are still on the scene dampening the buildings before police officers move in to investigate the cause of the fire.

Three firetrucks are currently stationed here while firefighters work in pairs, dousing the smouldering wood and debris.

The fire broke out in the early hours of Friday morning and spread to several shops, leaving many business owners with nothing to salvage.

The emergency service's William Ntladi said that firefighters managed to contain the blaze early enough.

"When we arrived, the shops were well alight. We believe there wasn't anybody [inside], the shops were not open by that time, so we can't tell what the actual cause of the fire is. That still needs to be investigated."

Those who have lost everything in the fire are sitting on the pavement on the opposite side of the street, drinking tea to calm them down.

Many are too angry and distraught to speak about the devastation.

DEALING WITH A DOUBLE BLOW

Shop owners who lost everything in this morning’s blaze in Brakpan are dealing with a double blow; the fire and having to rebuild their businesses in the time of COVID-19 pandemic.

Owners managed to remove some of their stock, but others were not so lucky.

Many are too distraught to speak about the ordeal, sitting outside on the pavement staring at their black charred shops.

Aadel Mayet has been operating his business in this area for 38 years, watching how these shop owners built their businesses from scratch.

“It’s a big loss; there is nothing left to salvage. It is definitely hard.”

One man who lost everything in the blaze bought new furniture stock just on Thursday but has now lost everything in the flames.

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