Fire at Alexandra shopping centre swiftly extinguished amid looting, fears of explosion, Johannesburg
An investigation is under way after a massive blaze broke out in Alexandra, Johannesburg, on Thursday night, 27 April 2023. Residents were fearful the fire would spread to an adjacent fuel station. "We can confirm that we attended to the fire incident in Alexandra last night (Thursday). We had our fire engine, water tanker, hazardous materials unit and air truck on the scene. There were no injuries reported... The cause of the fire incident is the subject of an investigation," City of Johannesburg Emergency Services’ spokesperson, Robert Mulaudzi, said on Friday morning.
While there were fears the fuel station was at risk, fire fighters worked feverishly to stop the flames from spreading.
According to eyewitnesses, the fire was believed to have started at the back of Unimart Hyper in Alexandra Plaza. Staff and community safety patrollers maintained a strong presence around the shop.
Reports of looting emerged, which prompted security guards to cordon off the area around Unimart. Police were also called to the scene.
Mulaudzi confirmed that looting had taken place. "There was some looting reported while the fire incident was in progress, with looters throwing stones at authorities who were trying to prevent them from stealing. The relevant authorities dealt with the matter. The fire was extinguished during the early hours of [Friday] morning," he said.
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