One year on, heroes relive seismic #DurbanFire
The brigade’s manpower on day two, by which time the blaze was somewhat contained, was down to 25 from the 150 battling the fire on day one.
He said the fire covered an area of the warehouse equal to six soccer fields long and four soccer fields wide. “So we had an area of six soccer fields burning. In this situation, you simply can’t get to the fire, you can only fight the edges. Our attack was to simply cut it off because we didn’t have enough water and foam to extinguish it. So we cut it off where the lucerne was, saving half of the premises.”
Stevens said the fire was always used as an example of the biggest warehouse fire this country had seen, and the brigade had learnt some important lessons.
“We’ve changed some of our procedures as far as water tankers are concerned. We now have to rely more on the water tankers because of the water shortages. This means also we have to be more conservative with our water usage, so we carry a lot of water. We realise we can’t rely on the fixed systems in these factories.”
Preparations are being made for construction at the warehouse. In an e-mailed response yesterday, Transnet said it was in the planning phase of redeveloping the area.
“Activities on site entail clearing the debris and preparing the area for reconstruction. The Transnet Board of Enquiry has not finalised the report on the incident,” it read.