“It happened at around 02h15 when I woke up to get me a cold pop. I thought someone was havin’ a barbecue,” said 97-year-old Sugar Brownloaf.
Brownloaf, who lives in a cargo container across the road from the petrol station said, “I saw flames. I saw the smoke. I ran across the road to get a light, ‘cos I ain’t got no matches, you see, and when one sees this kinda thing, one needs one a joint. Just to calm the nerves, like.”
Spokesperson for the Ethekwini Fire and Rescue Services, Graham Burnside said it was strongly suspected that a text message caused the incident.
“Those signs aren’t there for nothing,” said Burnside. “If it says do not use your cellphone, you should not use your cellphone.”
Water was carried in buckets from a swimming pool in a nearby garden to extinguish the fire.
Ethekwini Metro Police have put a motion forward to legally obtain cellular phone records from all residents within a 200km radius of the petrol station.
“Somebody has got to pay for this disaster,” said Corporal Captain Sergeant Lieutenant Superintendent Maximum Sithole. Sithole is currently the acting head of the acting head of the acting head of Ethekwini Metropolitan Police.
Sithole asked for anyone who has any information whatsoever to come forward. Nobody was injured in the blaze.