Thursday morning turned into a nightmare for store owners as a part of a local shopping hot spot, the Retail Park in North Rand Road, Bartlett, went up in flames, reports the Boksburg Advertiser.
“The fire started in Coricraft, and then jumped to other stores like Adidas, Tekkie Town and Jam,” said Eric Maloka, Ekurhuleni metro’s disaster and emergency services spokesperson.
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The fire department battled the flames for hours, which started around 8am. The popular stores were left completely gutted.
“The cause of the fire is still unknown.” said Maloka.
At about 9.45am the fire seemed to be contained but the flames then continued to spread through the roof, and Tekkie Town and Jam started to burn.
Maloka said firefighters had to enter some of the stores forcefully as keys were not available.
Maloka confirmed there were no injuries or casualties reported at the time.
Many locals mulled around to catch a glimpse of the fire, while emergency services cordoned off the parking lot. Loud bangs and small explosions could still be heard coming from inside the severely damaged stores.
Pieces of billboards and signage outside the stores were destroyed, while the roof covering the stores came down and fell into the parking lot.