Cape Town - A furniture factory in Bellville has been razed by a fire that threatened neighbouring factories.

Ergoform, in Willow Street, Stikland, was destroyed by the fire in the early evening on Monday, said fire department spokesman Theo Layne.

Willow Street is a long, semi-circular drive that wraps around a large industrial area.

Layne said the fire brigade arrived at the scene at 6.40pm to find the rapidly spreading blaze had already collapsed the building’s roof.

There were no people in the building as the fire started after closing time, and no injuries were reported.

Due to the vast amount of chemicals, such as plastics, solvents, paints and adhesives, in the factory, firemen had to don breathing apparatus when fighting the blaze.

“This kind of company, unfortunately, does work with flammable materials. The building was also full of sawdust, which burns very quickly once lit,” Layne said.

“The fire spread very quickly. Our people got the blaze under control by 8pm and by 1.30pm it was out. We had 11 engines at the scene, as well as three support vehicles. A team of 68 firemen was deployed.”

A factory next door, a catering company, showed evidence of heat, smoke and water damage but it was not touched by the fire.

Layne said it was fortunate there were no other big fires last night, so they could concentrate on this one.

“We had a small fire, in a cavity between walls, in the central business district, but that was nothing to write home about,” he said. “Otherwise, it was very quiet last night.”

Cape Argus