Manager, son arrested as flames devour Walvis business

20 July 2021 | Disasters

LEANDREA LOUW



WALVIS BAY

The Walvis Bay branch of Magic

Discounters, a wholesaler and distributor, was destroyed by a fire yesterday morning.

It is estimated that the damage could amount to more than N$1 million.

According to available information, the fire started at 06:30 and was brought under control at around 10:30.

Members of the Walvis Bay Fire Brigade - with assistance from the Swakopmund Fire and Rescue Services, Namibia Airports Company and Namibia Ports Authority (Namport) emergency services staff - eventually brought the blaze under control.

Thousands of litres of water were used.

The firefighters devised ways to stop the fire from spreading to surrounding buildings, with one saying they couldn’t risk entering the building as there were guns, ammunition and chemicals inside.

While the fire was raging, a scuffle broke out between police officers, the manager of Magic Discounters, Martin Cordier, and his son, Giandre Cordier. It is unclear what exactly happened, but the two men were arrested.

Inspector Ileni Shapumba, the local community affairs officer who was also at the scene, said the police were investigating the matter.

Neighbours safe

None of the surrounding businesses were affected by the fire.

Ronel Wasserfall of Wasserfall Funeral Services said the fire did not cause any damage to their property.

“I must say that the community of Walvis Bay is wonderful. They assisted me, and within 15 minutes my entire office furniture was standing outside across the street. I am extremely grateful,” she said.

After the fire, adjacent businesses were given the go-ahead to continue with their day-to-day activities.

Walvis Bay Urban constituency councillor Deriou Benson, who was also present, said many companies depend on Magic Discounters.

“The loss is immense, also taking into the account the employment created by the company.”

Shapumba said the cause of the fire had not yet been established.

“There were no injuries or fatalities brought to our attention. We are investigating and further progress will be reported at a later stage.”

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