/ 12 April 2004

Knysna hotel goes up in flames

Firefighters managed to douse the flames at the Brenton-on-Sea hotel in Knysna on Sunday, but not before the building was razed and two chalets gutted.

Speaking from the scene, Knysna fire chief Dries Pretorius said numerous other chalets were saved.

”We managed to stop it before it spread to other chalets … this would have caused a chain reaction [to surrounding buildings].”

It appeared the fire had started in the kitchen of the hotel and quickly spread throughout the hotel complex.

Pretorius said the main hotel was constructed of wood and had a thatch roof.

He said that the building, ”a landmark in Knysna”, was completely gutted as well as two chalets. There were no reports of injuries nor fatalities.

Damage at the popular hotel is estimated to be in the region of a few million rands.

Pretorius said the fire brigade would remain at the scene during the cooling-down process. — Sapa