Water restrictions hampering efforts to douse Durban warehouse blaze


Water restrictions hampering efforts to douse Durban warehouse blaze

Jeff Wicks | 2017-03-24 14:01:28.0

Rescue care

Image by: Rescue care

Teams of firefighters battling a warehouse blaze in south Durban have been hampered by water restrictions which initially rendered fire hydrants in the area useless.

As the fire spreads to adjacent properties – fuelled by gusting winds – city officials are scrambling to increase water pressure to the site. According to a municipal official‚ firefighters’ efforts were hampered by low water pressure in the area.

The official said that the pressure had been turned down due to drought-enforced water restrictions‚ but that this was being rectified. A source with knowledge of the incident command‚ who spoke to TMG Digital on condition of anonymity‚ said that fire hydrants were not working and that fire engines were having to truck water in.

“They cannot keep up and the fire is spreading because of the wind‚” the source said. According to a preliminary disaster management report obtained by TMG Digital‚ all water was being transported to the site and traffic access was problematic. About 59 000 tons of wax has been lost to the fire‚ and continues to fuel the flames.

Personnel are now working to contain the fire from spreading to other parts of the warehouse which stores polymers.

Graders were on site to push sand into strategic areas in a bid to prevent the fire spreading. The building is believed to be owned by Transnet.

– TMG Digital/BusinessLIVE

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