Mystery surrounds Crown National blaze

Photo: Hennie Homann/

MBOMBELA – Smoke billowed across the city on Monday night when Crown National went up in flames.

According to one of the staff members at the scene, it happened after all the staff had left. “The alarm was activated, that is why we know nobody was in the building at the time.”

Mbombela municipality’s spokesman, Joseph Ngala said two trucks were still at the premises on Tuesday morning as the building was still smoldering.

Also read: Hele gemeenskap juig noudat veld skoon is

Photo: Hennie Homann/

“We have questions why the building’s fire alarm and sprinklers did not go off. The reason for them malfunctioning is a huge question we need answered.”

He added that they could not determine at this stage what started it, as investigations are in progress.

ACS Security’s John Meintjies said one of their reaction officers noticed smoke coming from the direction of Riverside.

Also read: What’s rocking the city this weekend

“We have a lot of clients that side, so he reported the smoke to the control room and headed for that direction to go and investigate what was happening.”

While the reaction officer was on his way already, a normal alarm went off at Crown National.

“He contacted us immediately to tell us the building was on fire. That is when I notified the fire brigade and emergency personnel via the Zello Channel.

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“We knew nobody was in the building, as the lock-up alarm had been activated after 17:00.”

ER24 branch manager, Greg Wilcox said their team sent out a vehicle to monitor the firemen while they were fighting the fire.

Crown National spokesman, Wayne Henderson said the company could not yet comment on the fire.

Tereasa Dias

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