A fire broke out at Rump & Ocean Meat Packers in Montana, Pretoria, on Wednesday afternoon and almost completely destroyed the factory. Numerous firefighters spent hours trying to put out the fire, with the added danger that thousands of liters of gas could explode on the premises, causing immeasurable damage and loss of life.
According to JP Botha, chairman of the Sinoville Fire Fighting Association (SBBV), they received the first emergency call regarding the fire at 12:55.
“We were the first on the scene and immediately had to do an assessment to prevent greater damage. We evacuated the factory and all the people were taken to safety.”
Botha says that his team was also immediately notified of, among other things, 5,000 liters of gas cylinders and oxygen tanks that had to be saved from the devastating flames.
“It was a big concern. Immeasurable damage and loss of life would result if the flames reached the gas cylinders and oxygen tanks. We had to fight very hard against the fire and constantly make sure that the gas cylinders and oxygen tanks remained cool to avoid an explosion.”
This factory packs meat for all the Food Lover’s chain stores across South Africa.
“Millions of rands worth of damage was caused by the fire; even the roof of the factory collapsed. It had to be extremely hot for this to happen, around 2,000 ̊C,” says Botha.
Several firefighters battled for about five hours to put out the fire.
“More than seven fire engines worked with SBBV to fight the fire. We only left the scene at around 17:30,” says Botha.
Charles Mabaso, spokesperson for the Tshwane Emergency Services, says the fire has been extinguished and the teams involved were checking the cooling and hot spots by early yesterday evening.
“Luckily everyone was able to be removed in time and no injuries have been reported so far.”
The cause of the fire is not yet known and is being investigated.
Leave a Reply