Walvis Bay — The reputable Walvis Bay business, Magic Discounters, was brought to its knees yesterday as a fire ravaged through the shop that has been the lifeline of many families and business at the coast.
Firefighters battled for at least two hours to bring the fire under control.
Neighbouring businesses such as Wasserfall Funeral Services, as a precautionary measure, had to evacuate their building due to the magnitude of the fire.
Some witnesses said they heard a loud bang around 06h30 followed by the emergency services sirens.
Shortly after, a cloud of black smoke was seen from the building.
When New Era arrived at the scene, the Walvis Bay fire brigade assisted by the Namport firefighters battled the large inferno.
Shop manager, Martin Cordier indicated they have lost goods worth more than N$1 million due to the fire.
Erongo police community affairs commander Inspector Ileni Shapumba yesterday said they were still investigating the cause of the fire.
"The loss is massive as nothing could be salvaged. Luckily, the fire was brought under control before it spread to surrounding businesses," Shapumba said.
Magic Discounters sells various chemical products, cleaning materials, household goods, furniture, aquatic fish, parrots, firearms and ammunition as well as fireworks, which made it difficult for firefighters to control the fire.
Ronel Wasserfall of the Wasserfall Funeral Services applauded residents of Walvis Bay for assisting her when the fire broke out.
"I was told to evacuate by the police when the fire started and within minutes all my furniture, including the coffins were carried out by good Samaritans," she said.