WATCH: Spamprekini reduced to a shell in “gas explosion”

Nqobile Bhebhe, Senior Reporter

HUNDREDS of small-scale formal traders lost furniture and equipment worth millions of dollars early Wednesday morning when fire gutted and reduced the Mpopoma Outspan factory to rubble.

The fire broke out around 5:45 am in a small section of the vast factory and quickly spread to engulf a huge section of the factory.

The factory, popularly known as Spamprekini is situated along Nketa Drive adjacent to Mpopoma Park.

When the Chronicle news crew arrived at the scene around 6 am, scores of workers including women with babies strapped on their backs were battling to salvage their wares in the blazing fire.

Firefighters were also making frantic efforts to extinguish the fire.

The factory produces high-end sofas, wardrobes, kitchen units, tables, and wooden doors as per customer specifications.

Although the exact cause of the fire is not yet ascertained, several workers said there was a gas leak.

“I am not 100 percent sure what caused the fire but we highly suspect it was a gas leak.

The factory, a source of our livelihood for decades, no longer exist” said Amos Dlamini.

Mpopoma Outspan Association Vice chairman Mr Voice Moyo said members are devastated.

“We are in deep shock, devastated by what happened here. We have lost everything.  Millions of finished products, materials and equipment have been lost.

“We appeal to the Government to speedily assist us to get back on our feet,” said Moyo who has been working at the factory since 1996.

By mid-morning, fire fighters had managed to contain the fire.

more to follow…

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