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Raging fire devours employee's vital effects

By unknown | Jun 26, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

While hundreds of workers were relieved to escape a raging fire at a factory in Industria West, Johannesburg, Esther Pitsoane's life went up in smoke.

Pitsoane, 58, of Orange Farm lost some of her invaluable documents, including an identity document and marriage certificate, which were destroyed when Vitafoam factory caught fire on Tuesday morning.

The extent of the damage is yet to be determined. Health and safety inspectors were still busy combing the scene yesterday to determine what could have caused the fire.

"I am happy to have escaped the fire unharmed, but I am now left with nothing. My ID, house keys and about R500 in cash that was inside my bag were burned to ashes.

"I don't know what to do now," said Pitsoane.

She said her bag was the last thing in her mind when she heard people screaming: "phumani kuyasha" (get out of the factory, it's burning).

"All I could think of was running to safety."

Meanwhile, Vitafoam spokesman, Stehan Groble, said they were doing all they can to accommodate their workers. "Some 20 workers from the foam production plant section resumed their duties at sister company Lounge Foam, located just opposite Vitafoam.

Others are yet to learn of their fate.


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