The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s Fire Department had their hands full yesterday wIth their first 6 engine call at 3:20 am to contain a raging fire at the well-known Greenacres Shopping Centre which resulted in extensive fire damage to the Checkers portion of the building, smoke damage to neighbouring line shops and the closing of 26 shops for business.
At this stage the centre is open for business and assessments are underway to see how best to ensure that the 26 shops that were closed can open again to ensure continuous trade.
A routine case of arson was opened by the South African Police Services (SAPS) due to the extensive damages to the shops and a team of forensic investigators as well as the Municipality’s Fire Safety Unit started with investigations to determine the cause of the fire.
The findings will then form part of the investigations by the SAPS.
But the fire department did not get a chance to rest as NMB Communications spokesperson, Kupido Baron reported that the NMB Fire Department had to respond to up to 15 bushfires in different parts of the city as well – fire men and women were despatched to fight bush fires in amongst others Diaz Road (Kensington), Opposite the Dutch Reformed Church (St Albans), Harrington Street (Salt Lake), Samantha Way (Framesby) and a bush fire behind the Sanctor High School.
One thing we noticed whilst watching the fire was that the swallows were taking full advantage of the fire which, we assume, presented a feeding opportunity for them as they swooped around and around just ahead of the advancing fire line.