Elna warehouse blaze causes millions in damages

The Elna Sewing Notions warehouse reports millions in damage costs.

It will cost millions to repair the damage caused by a sudden blaze scorched the Elna Sewing Notions warehouse in PioneerStreet, Bellville earlier this week.

Elna managing director Dan de Vos told Northern News that they believed the fire, on Tuesday April 13, had been caused by an electrical fault.

Spokesperson for the City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Services, Jermaine Carelse, said crews from Goodwood, Bellville, Belhar and Roeland Street responded to the emergency call received by the City’s Fire and Rescue Service just before 1pm.

“Resources dispatched included motor pumps, a rescue vehicle with seasonal firefighters and an aerial appliance from Roeland Street fire station,” he said.

The fire was contained by about 1:42pm and a preliminary search of the building confirmed that there was no one inside.

“Our twelve personnel were all safe and sustained no injuries. They were never in any danger and our evacuation went smoothly. The fire brigade also did an excellent job,” said Mr De Vos.

The area was declared safe once the fire was extinguished at 3.50pm.

“One of the firefighters sustained an injury when a beam fell on him, but did not require medical attention,” Mr Carelse added.

The Elna warehouse acts as the base from which the group distributes their sewing machines.

“We reported no damages to the service centre and our sewing machine stock is kept in a larger warehouse in Johannesburg,” Mr De Vos said.

“While it will take months to repair the damage, we should have one quarter of the building up and running within two weeks. The costs will run into the millions. In the 54 years that I have been with Elna, this was the first fire that we have experienced out of all the 16 centres.”