Portland butchery gutted by fire

Portland Meat Hyper was destroyed in a fire.

The owner of a Portland butchery watched as flames burst from the roof of the family-run business.

Nazeem Essack, owner of the more than 30-year-old Portland Meat Hyper, on the corner of Silversand and Merrydale Avenues, was alerted to the fire by the building’s alarm system at 4.15am on Sunday March 6.

About 30 minutes later he got out of his car and saw the building ablaze.

The butchery was a branch of the original Portland Meat Hyper, at the corner Montagu Drive and Kimberley Street, opened by his father Adam Essack in 1981.

Mr Essack’s older son Rafiek told the Plainsman that their father was shocked and devastated by the fire but that the community had rallied with calls and messages of support.

He said the adjacent businesses were not affected.

They are hoping to have a temporary butchery up and running in about three weeks.

City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Edward Bosch said they responded to the scene, where the butchery and its neighbours were alight at about 4.40am.

Six firefighting vehicles with 21 firefighters responded to the incident, he said.

“Upon arrival the brigade found a shop well alight. Firefighters took over three hours to extinguish the fire,” Mr Bosch said.

He added that no injuries were reported and the cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

Mitchell’s Plain police spokeswoman Sergeant Zandi Langa, however, said it had been caused by an electrical fault.