By Linda Pona
On Wednesday afternoon, 29 November, Knock Shop owner Craig Fourie was sitting at his desk, speaking to his accountant, when a fire broke out in the shop.
According to Fourie, he and his staffer smelled smoke before seeing flames coming from the plastic covering mattresses near the second-hand and antique store’s back entrance.
He says they got the fire extinguisher trying to put out the flames, but the fire kept igniting. “Eventually, I got my staff out, and my one staff member ran to the fire department, and they took about 5 minutes to get here,” says Fourie.
According to Makana Fire Services manager, Chief Fire Officer William Welkom, the Fire Department was called to the Knockshop, which is around the corner from them, sometime after 3 pm that afternoon. Welkom adds that the building was on fire when they arrived.
Welkom explained the reason the fire spread quickly was because of the content inside the shop. “You see, because it’s a second-hand shop, it has a lot of combustible material inside, and that’s why fires spread very quickly, due to the contents inside the building.”
Speaking to Grocott’s Mail, Welkom said they had enough resources and manpower to extinguish the fire before it spread to the buildings directly next to the shop. “The contents of the building are destroyed, the Knock Shop itself. But what we are happy about is the attached buildings are safe…it could have spread because they are adjacent to each other,” said Welkom.
According to Kim Fourie, a teacher and Craig Fourie’s wife, the business has been in the family’s hands for 30 years and has occupied the current building for approximately five years. Echoing the same sentiments as her husband, she adds that though the business is their livelihood, she is glad that no one was injured. “You can replace things, you can’t replace people,” she said.