#DurbanFire: The towering inferno’s threat reduced

Firemen worked tirelessly to combat the fire with heavy winds making their work very difficult. PHOTO: Netcare 911

Durban was engulfed in a shroud of black smoke this weekend from a fire that started in a warehouse complex on South Coast in Rossburgh and fire fighters fought the blaze tirelessly until it was finally under control on Sunday.

A reduced fire is still burning and it will take a few days to finally extinguish it.

The fire damage has been felt far and wide with many residents, who live in the path of the wind, finding their gardens,  walls, pools and cars covered in soot. Some also experienced respiratory problems as a result of the polluted smoke permeatig the air in their homes.

Firefighters with warehouse employees, worked furiously through Friday night to separate the flammable materials from the flames and successfully removed the explosive material from the Rossburgh warehouse.


Source: Facebook


Three injured

Garrith Jamieson, from Rescue Care said: “A third person was injured on Saturday.

“A firefighter was treated for inhalation burns and dehydration by paramedics before being transported to hospital for further treatment.”

On Friday Jamieson reported that two people suffered fire related wounds.

A firefighter was reportedly rushed to the hospital after he sustained burns to his hands while battling the massive fire.

And second person, a 35-year-old man who was reporedly working in the warehouse when the fire started, was also treated for burn wounds at the scene.



Road closed

The fire started at about 9.30am on Friday morning (24 March).

“All relevant municipal departments were immediately activated to the area.  ensure that the incident was dealt with efficiently and effectively.

Preliminary reports from Environment Health practitioners indicated the warehouse contains a large volume of wax and polypropylene (plastic).

Southcoast Road was closed between the M7 and Bayhead Road and motorists were urged to keep headlights due to the poor visibility as a result of the smoke.

At one stage there were 41 fire vehicles on site and 125 fire personnel on duty according to eThekwini Municipality.


Firemen fought the inferno for three days and it is under control alhtough it is still burning. PHOTO: Netcare 911


“On Friday morning, Netcare 911 paramedics the fire services police and several emergency services responded to the fire and found it had spread through the warehouse and within minute,s the whole building was engulfed in flames,”said Media Liaison Netcare 911, Chris Botha.

“Firemen worked tirelessly to combat the fire with heavy winds making their work very difficult.

“With the winds pushing the smoke one into the Durban CBD people were advised to close their windows and if the smoke gets too bad they should move to a location where there is no smoke.”

“Paramedics were standing by at the scene for the safety of the firemen,” Botha said



Report awaited

The KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs continues to work closely with the eThekwini Municipality to monitor the blaze which broke out at a warehouse in the south of the city centre earlier today.

eThekwini’s Sspokesman, Siyabonga Maphumulo said the Environmental Affairs Unit was in constant communication with the municipality’s Air Quality Monitoring Unit who was keeping a beady eye on the situation through its air quality monitoring station in Wentworth to detect the smoke emitted for any potentially hazardous materials.

By law, municipalities are required to have air monitoring stations, particularly in those areas that have a high concentration of industrial activity.

“The owners of the warehouse where the fire broke out are also expected, within the next 14 days, to provide a comprehensive reporton what caused the fire, what measures were taken to mitigate the situation and what measures will be taken to prevent a recurrence of a similar incident in future.”


People provide food

FIRE fighters worked through the  night trying to contain the fire say it’s the largest fire they have attended.

The Durban community immediately rallied round to assist by responding to various Facebook community groups and neighbourhood watches who requested people help by donating bottled water and refreshments for the firefighters.

Gift of the Givers also despatched a vehicle with food and refreshments for the fire fighters.


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Michelle Dennis

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