One of the oldest factories in Atlantis has gone up in flames and the factory workers are left high and dry.
On Tuesday evening, the Rotex Fabrics in Johan Heyns Street burnt down and along with it all the material and clothing manufacturing equipment.
In a statement circulated on Facebook pages, the staff were told to stay home until further notice: “Workers of Rotex who are reporting for duty tomorrow (Wednesday) must please stay at home until further notice.”
The Cape Argus reports that the fire possibly started in the chimney of one of the heat setting machines, where material is heated in preparation for dyeing.
There were about 35 night shift workers in the building, five of them in the finishing department where the blaze started.
Brandon Armstrong, the team leader at the finishing department, told the newspaper: “I was about to go on a break when I heard screams. As a team we tried to put out the fire but it was too strong and was spreading rapidly. I made a decision to vacate the workers as a safety precaution.”
No one was injured.
The City’s Fire and Rescue Service’s Theo Layne says: “The City’s Fire and Rescue Service responded to the incident at Rotex Fabrics at 9.50pm, Tuesday evening.”
“Four fire engines and five other support vehicles with 30 firefighters from six fire stations were dispatched to the scene. It took firefighters approximately three hours to contain the fire and it was completely extinguished by 8am Wednesday morning.
“The building sustained minimal damage with the contents sustaining significant damage.”