WATCH: Iconic North West hotel gone in flames, guests scramble to get out
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Beloved North West attraction, the Mmabatho Palms Hotel in Mahikeng, was gutted after an earning morning blaze on Wednesday.
The 4-star Peermont Walmont hotel is famed for being a casino and resort getaway.
It is unclear what caused the fire, but police are investigating the matter.
The hotel said on Facebook: "Peermont Hotels Casinos and Resorts has confirmed a fire at its Mahikeng property, Mmabatho Palms, Hotel, Casino and Convention Resort in the early hours of Wednesday morning, 8 September 2021.
“The Police and Fire Departments are currently on scene and are in the process of investigating the incident."
Peermont Mmabatho Palms in Mahikeng is on fire. Apparently the fire started around 2am this morning. pic.twitter.com/iWY0JZaRbY— Kutlwano Ramokgadi (@i_am_playphonik) September 8, 2021
According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform, Zoleka Capa, who was among the guests, she woke up at 1am after struggling to breathe.
She told eNCA that there was no smoke alarm or any warning that sounded to alert of the fire.
As she scrambled out of bed, she said the heavy smoke made it hard to breathe.
"I struggled to get out of the door. When I was outside, there were roaring flames. I started shouting, trying to get PA, who was in the next room, out.
I started shouting: "Guys, come out. Fire. Fire. Fire, I ran to the other passage, but it was locked," she said.
Trying to help, she recalled that she advised guests to leave their luggage and run to safety.
She said she lost everything in the blaze but was glad she came out unscathed.
Soo they decided to burn down our oldest hotel 😭😭😭 Mmabatho palms pic.twitter.com/g2lDhRlO9y— Kabelo Mogotsi (@mogotsikay) September 8, 2021
Mmabatho palms 💔😔Go fedile. Yho pic.twitter.com/da1tvto6jA— Tshepi ❤️ (@theboy13_) September 8, 2021
Twitter was also ablaze on Wednesday morning when the news broke, with the hotel trending on the social media platform.
User @bonolie_ posted: "Mmabatho Palms burning has to be the saddest thing to happen today , yoh." (sic).
@RhirhiLems posted: "What happened to Mmabatho Palms really hurt me Me and my girls used to go there to release academic stress during our varsity days." (sic).