Durban Inferno: Fire Fighters Struggle To Contain Transnet Fire Outbreak


Firefighters are faced with the challenge of quenching the fire that has engulfed a Transnet warehouse in Rossburgh in Durban, leaving one man injured.

The fire which began on Friday morning has kept the city’s Rescue Care paramedics and other emergency crews on their toes as they run around at the scene of the blaze trying to put off the fire.

Witnesses said the smoke which started at the early hours of the day, has blackened the sky across the city, extending to north Durban CBD, driven by a gusting wind.

“We immediately activated our emergency procedures, including the evacuation of everyone from the property. One person was injured and taken to the nearest hospital,” Transnet spokesperson Molatwane told news reporters present at the scene.

The fire was successfully contained at 13:00 hours despite being fanned by extremely strong wind, said Likhethe who also noted that Transnet is expected to establish an investigation on the cause of the fire outbreak.

Prior to this time, Rescue Care paramedics spokesperson Garrith Jamieson said the firefighters battled with the fire for about three hours and their effort was to make sure the flames didn’t spread to other buildings close to the warehouse.

Earlier on Friday, Jamieson said the Durban search and rescue unit had confirmed that there were wax panels inside the warehouse, “making it hard for the fire department to contain the fire”.

The cause of the fire was unknown at this stage, said police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele.

The report of the fire outbreak comes after the shack settlements fire outbreak in Cape Town. The fire which started at the late hours of Friday and the early hours of the next day had not less than nine people including children killed

The city’s fire and rescue services were called to the first of three fires which broke out in Wesbank. Apart from destroying three homes in the area, the fire also killed four people including a boy‚ a girl‚ a man and a woman.

While the City of Cape Town fire and rescue team were busy trying to quench the fire, their attention was called to a huge fire at the Mandela Park informal settlement near Hout Bay which started just after midnight.

While the settlement was razed down to ashes, residents fled with their belongings from the narrow alleys to the safety of nearby roads. However, two people were trapped in the flames and couldn’t make it out.

“There are going to be hundreds of people displaced,” said Layne. Nevertheless, he added that disaster relief teams were on their way to assist.

At the time of the report, an estimated 650 shacks had been razed by the fire on Saturday in Imizamo Yethu‚ Hout Bay‚ leaving thousands of people homeless.