22 Jan 2015 16:30pm
FIRE DESTROYS FOUR SHOPS, THREE CARS
Four shops and three cars were destroyed in a fire in Komatipoort, Mpumalanga, in the early hours of Thursday, the municipality said.
The cause of the blaze was still unknown, said Nkomazi local municipality spokesman Cyril Ripinga, a Sapa correspondent reported.
"It's unknown where the fire started, but what we can tell you is that four shops, including a tavern, were burnt to ashes and three cars which were parked close to the shops were also burnt."
Farmers and locals in the small town have been praised for their swift response in helping firefighters.
"We would like to thank the local community members and farmers who brought in their tractors to carry water and help put out the fire. We hope that by midday we will have put it out," said Ripinga.
The owners of the building declined to speak to the media.
Jacob Sithole, an employee at one of the shops, said some believed the fire started in the tavern.
"By the look of things the fire started at the tavern, but we don't know what caused it. When we got here in the morning all the shops were burning. We couldn't stop the fire, until firefighters and the tractor guys came.
"This, for me, means I won't be working for some time until the shops are reopened."
The tavern owner was not immediately available for comment.