MORE than 100 children were evacuated from a Newton Park day-care centre yesterday after the building next door caught fire.
Fireman battled for more than two hours to extinguish the blaze, which started at a computer distribution shop in Newton Street shortly after 1pm.
Bollie Day Care owner Marelie Coetzee said she saw smoke billowing from the adjacent building.
“I immediately called the fire department. Then I ran inside and closed the building windows before deciding to move the children across the road to the back garden of another business premises.”
Coetzee stressed the 112 children were never in danger and the decision to move them was merely a “precautionary measure”.
“The children vary in age from three months to 13 years. The older ones appeared to be in a bit more shock as they knew what was happening but the younger ones weren‘t really bothered.”
By 3pm parents had been contacted to collect their children.
The fire started at computer distribution company TVR Computers.
Employee Hester Korb said staff inside the building did not realise when the back storeroom caught alight.
“I walked into the office and smelt something burning,” she said. “As I walked towards the storeroom I caught a glimpse of the fire and alerted the staff.”
In an attempt to extinguish the blaze, workers emptied three fire extinguishers.
“It did nothing and the fire continued to get out of control,” Korb said.
“I do not know the value of the stock that has been damaged at this stage but it is safe to say that everything in the storeroom is destroyed and that all the other goods have smoke damage.”
A TVR Computers manager was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation. No one sustained serious injuries during the blaze.
Municipal spokesman Kupido Baron said an investigation had been launched to establish the cause of the fire.
“Two fire engines and 12 fire-fighters were dispatched to the scene at 1.22pm,” he said.
“By 2.30pm the fire was reported to be under control and an hour later the fire was completely extinguished.”
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