The exact cause of the small fire in Shoprite at the Crossings Centre that caused an uproar among the residents of Tzaneen last week, is still under investigation. Bulletin has spoken to the centre management in the meantime and have gained some more insight to the happenings on the evening.

Initially it was reported that Eben Fichardt, the centre’s operational manager had extinguished the fire in the receiving bay before the fire brigade arrived. While this was true, it has emerged that the true hero who prevented the fire from evolving into a full out blaze, was the security manager for Urban Africa Security, Eddie Schaap. According to Shoprite employees, Schaap’s quick reactions to the potential danger, prevented a disaster.

“I saw Eddie in the smoke with a fire extinguisher as he put out that blaze and he waited in the passage to make sure it was under control until the fire brigade arrived. He potentially saved our lives and we are thankful for him for that,” said an employee of Shoprite who chose to remain anonymous. “Mr Fichardt joined him with an extinguisher and the two of them controlled the situation.”

According to the Shoprite area manager, Wilmi Enslin, the forensic investigations into the cause of the fire is still underway. “The biggest damage to the small section of our receiving bay was actually as a result of the water used by the fire brigade. I must applaud our fire fighters though. From the moment I made the call, to the time they arrived on scene was less than four minutes. We are thankful also for the quick response by the security manager who stopped this from becoming a massive blaze.”

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