WATCH:Durban’s China Emporium fire started in the generator room: Reports



Published Jan 24, 2022


Durban – The China Emporium building in Doctor Pixley Kaseme Street which caught alight on Friday has been condemned.

According to Durban Metro police spokesperson Parbhoo Sewpersadh, it has been deemed unfit for habitation.

The building has now been condemned. Picture: Supplied

By Monday morning firefighters were still at work.

Sewpersadh said Smith Street remained closed until further notice and traffic was being diverted.

“The M4 Southern freeway entrance into the CBD and Doctor Pixley Kaseme Street have been reopened to traffic.”

More than 100 000 litres of water has been used so far. Picture: Supplied

According to acting divisional commander Sifiso Mtshali, of the eThekwini Fire Department, the fire has now been contained.

“The fire has been contained and extinguished and we now damping down.

“We are not allowed in the building as structural City engineers have been the building unsafe and as the stability of the building was severely compromised by the fire and heat.”

Mtshali said he was “optimistic” that it would take the next two days to clear up.

So far more than 100 000 litres of water has been used to douse the flames.

He said initial reports indicate the fire started in the generator room.

“We still have to determine this.”

Msthali said they were no fatalities recorded and everyone seemed to be accounted for.

According to Kyle van Reenen, of Emer-G-Med paramedics, 13 people were treated for injuries ranging from minor to moderate and taken to hospital.


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