Several people including a baby were rescued by firefighters from a burning building in the Durban CBD after being trapped inside. All those who were trapped inside the China Mall building when it caught fire on Pixley Ka Seme Street previously known as West Street in the Durban CBD have been rescued.
Paramedics say the three people, who were rescued from the upper floors of the building, have been taken to hospital. Meanwhile, police spokesperson Parboo Sewpersadh has urged motorists to use alternative routes.
“There are major road closures in place. Motorists are urged to stay away from the following road closures Anton Lembede and Brooke, Pixley Ka Seme and Brooke, Pixley Ka Seme and Williams Road. Motorists are urged to comply with police officers’ instructions, we are dealing with an emergency situation,” says Sewpersadh.
Firefighters battled for several hours to control the blaze. Roads around the building were closed for hours, bringing traffic to a standstill in the City Centre.
The cause of the blaze is still being investigated. Eyewitnesses say the fire quickly spread throughout the building.
One person says, “It was morning around half-past eight. The time I was going out to take money from other customers because they buy stock from inside. So I went to take the money – the time I was going outside I just see small smoke, smoke from the shop downstairs. The shop Gt 1 was smoking that time but by then I thought it was just smoke maybe someone was smoking. By the time we were going out, I took almost ten minutes. The time I came back the building started burning then the other people were just jumping from the 3rd floor, coming down almost. Some people got injured, others were taken to hospital.”
Another eyewitness says, “People battled to move cars and other things out of the building but they could not save everything. Things got burned and there are some of my brothers who work at the top of the building and I am downstairs but they are based up there. I think those upstairs were caught in the fire I don’t think they made it. Others tried to jump from the windows and they got injured.”
“I didn’t know when the fire started… too much smoke I didn’t really know which way it’s coming from. Most of the people ran away I am not a hundred percent that all the people are coming out but you see I can’t do anything now but there is still smoke inside but I didn’t know anything inside.”
In other news – Mome and Tol Ass Mo are proud parents
Reality TV star Mome Mahlangu and her husband Tol Ass Mo are beaming with pride after their son TK matriculated this week.
Taking to Instagram, Mome penned a lengthy post of gratitude, recalling her experience as a first time mother in her third year of varsity. Learn more