Diesel theft has been provisionally identified as the cause of the massive blaze that razed three trucks and a house to ground at Umvoti Ultra City this morning.
Firefighters from KwaDukuza and Durban battled to control the fire for a few hours, finally bringing it under control at around 1pm.
The Zululand Observer was allowed access to the area where the inferno began and can confirm that a small petrol-powered pump was being used to siphon diesel from the fuel tank of one of the tankers into a smaller truck.
It is believed this could have been the cause of the fire.
A small part of the building itself was damaged, and no injuries have been reported.
Access to the Ultra City has been closed down, as work will now begin to contain the diesel spill and clear the wreckages.
At least one house, the owner of which was in Manguzi, was also destroyed by the flames.
It is believed that diesel leaking down storm water drains carried the blaze to the home, situated just behind the Ultra City.
Sam Meyrick of IPSS Medical Rescue and her father Dylan, were at the small airfield adjacent to the garage when the fire erupted.
‘We were walking down the runway and one pilot was taking off with a microlight,’ she said.
‘I watched him and saw that he kept looking behind him. When I turned around, I also saw the smoke.
The Meyrick’s rushed to the service station.
‘We grabbed some fire extinguishers but by that time it was too late, the fire too big for the extinguishers to be effective.’
Dylan then summoned the fire departments nearby, and their quick action prevented the fire from spreading to the underground fuel tanks.
The N2 was closed for a short while as emergency services worked to make the area safe.