Millions go up in flames at Cape Town cash and carry warehouse

A chain store has incurred a loss of several million rands after a 1‚000-square-metre warehouse in Cape Town burned down early on Saturday.

Edward Bosch‚ the city’s fire and rescue spokesman‚ said four fire engines‚ three water tankers and 32 firefighters were dispatched to extinguish a blaze that engulfed a 1UP Cash & Carry warehouse in the Kraaifontein area before 1am.

Bosch said firemen found the “retail building as well as two trucks well alight”.

“The fire has subsequently been contained and firefighters will remain on the scene until the area is safe‚” he said. “A case of suspected arson is suspected and handed over to SAPS for further investigation.”

1Up Cash & Carry general manager Ajmudien Gafoor was devastated. He said the fired started at a neighbour’s premises‚ where thieves stole batteries from trucks.

“When I left there at 4am‚ the warehouse was completely finished. The entire premises were actually destroyed‚” said Gafoor.

“One of the senior firemen told me that the walls and the steel structure have been compromised. With a fire like this‚ it is not only the structure you lose. You must remember it is peak business including millions and millions of rand.

“The sad part about this thing is that it happened during a period whenwe are going into the festive season and your staff are looking at bonuses and salaries. Now you don’t know what to do with them. That is the terrible part about everything.”