Cause of Alex fire that gutted 8 stalls unknown
Eight stalls were gutted by fire on Wednesday night near the Pan-Africa Mall in Alexandra, Johannesburg.
City of Johannesburg Emergency Medical Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said the fire broke out before 9pm.
“Last night at around 8.30pm we responded to a fire incident at the Pan-Africa Mall in Alexandra. A number of stalls outside the mall were on fire. Seven to eight stalls were affected. We managed to extinguish the fire to prevent it from spreading to nearby stalls,” said Mulaudzi.
Mulaudzi said there were no injuries or fatalities reported and the cause of the fire is unknown.
He said investigations are under way to determine the cause of the fire.
“We also want to distance ourselves from allegations that the fire might have been caused by an altercation between members of Dudula [Operation Dudula] and foreign nationals. We do not want to involve ourselves on that one. We do not have evidence to that effect.
“We are conducting investigations as to determine the cause of the fire incident and preliminary investigations will tell us as to what might be the cause of the fire,” said Mulaudzi.
When Sowetan visited the scene of the blaze on Thursday morning, dozens of people were standing next to the stalls looking on as their owners were walking through the debris, cleaning up and trying to find what was left from the damage.
Mokgadi Mashitatona, 51, whose family ran three of the burnt stalls, said they lost stock worth R60,000 in the fire.
“This business helped us to buy food, pay for our children’s school fees and buy more stock. I do not know how we are going to survive,” said Mashitatona.
Police and Johannesburg Metro Police Department officers were at the scene monitoring the situation.
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