Mbabane, Swaziland — There was panic in the city when a veld fire crept into the Central Transport and Administration (CTA) premises and set property alight yesterday.
The fire, which lasted for over an hour, began just after 4:30pm when all employees were about to leave.
It burnt over 300 used government vehicle tyres that were at the site and were to be disposed off by auction.
Panicking city dwellers and other passers by came running from corner to corner just to see what was happening as a dark cloud of smoke rose up and changed the colour of the afternoon blue skies to a thick smokey black and grey.
The whole city was filled with smoke such that at first, most people thought the whole town was on fire.
It was gathered that the fire started outside the CTA premises and went in through the fence. It is then that the old tyres that had been placed at the far corner of the auction side caught the fire, which sent almost all the CTA bosses panicking.
Some of those who came to inspect the fire include the CTA Director Polycarp Dlamini and two managers who include Sicelo and Moses Dlamini.
Witnesses Musa Sibeko, who was one of the eye- witnesses said no one thought the fire would cause so much havoc at the CTA.
“Hardly 10 minutes after the fire had began, the fire and emergency personnel arrived. It then became hard to see as to what was happening inside as there was just a lot of smoke,” he said.
It took the fire personnel close to an hour before they could successfully put it out. Polycarp said the CTA had not lost much as none of the cars were burnt.
“Luckily enough for us is that even the tyres that were on fire were old ones that had been used,” he said.
He thanked the fire and emergency personnel for arriving on time.