Fire guts iconic building

Jeppestown – Last Friday a fire tore through the Grand Station Hotel and destroyed the building, together with
some shops.
A witness, Andrew levy said residents of the building hurled their possessions out of windows, while friends and
family members on the ground tried to gather up whatever they could. He said some people started rushing into the
burning building, apparently with the intention of looting.
“The one fire truck on the scene had to not only deal with the flames but actually spray oncoming looters who
were putting their lives at risk to enter the flaming buildings to steal goods from inside the stores,” he said.
Joburg EMS spokesperson Nana Radebe said about 10 shops in one building had been affected. “People
mentioned an electrical fault, but we will confirm this with our investigation,” she said.
No injuries were reported.
Built in 1896, the Grand Station Hotel has been a landmark in Jeppestown. The fire gutted the 123-year-old
building, leaving the structure a mere shell of what it used to be. The building received protection in terms of the
National Heritage Resources Act in 1986.
It initially served miners from the nearby Wolhuter mine, and also housed the popular Norman’s Grill in the
1960s and 1970s, which was renowned for its prawns and drew businessmen from all over Johannesburg. Before
the fire, it housed several shops and 38 residential rooms.

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