Durban woke up to thick black smoke rising from the roofs of the landmark Blue Waters Hotel on Durban’s Marine Parade early on Wednesday.
Martinus Baumbach was among the guests and staff who had to be evacuated from the smoky Landmark Blue Waters Hotel on Wednesday morning as thick black smoke engulfed the 262-room beachfront hotel on Marine Parade.
When he heard the fire siren, he woke his partner up and they gathered their stuff and took off without knowing the actual cause of the evacuation until they got outside.
“I looked over the balcony and saw staff members walking out the hotel. I woke my partner‚ grabbed our travel documents and ID and cellphones and made our way out the building. I did not see any smoke until we got out the building‚” he told TMG Digital.
An insider informant (hotel employee) who preferred to remain anonymous said that there was an explosion from a transformer near the basement at around 6:30am.
After the fire alarm went off, staff of the Landmark Blue Water Hotel quickly activated the fire drill and helped in the evacuation of guests from the building. Two people received medical treated for smoke inhalation including Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s daughter Princess Phumzile Buthelezi.
“I was in my room on the fifth floor and did not hear the fire alarm. I was shocked and scared when I heard banging on the door. Firemen helped me down the stairs‚” she said. She walks with the aid of a walking stick which made her escape more difficult.
Penelope Larkin‚ who resides behind the hotel at Kirsten Grove‚ said she was enjoying a cup of tea when her friend who went on to the balcony at about 6.45am saw smoke coming from the hotel and alerted her.
The fire was finally put off at about 8.30am, while the hotel recorded some superficial damage with broken glass..