WATCH: Devastating Lanzerac Hotel & Spa Fire Causes Heartbreak In Stellenbosch

May 28, 2017

“This is so sad.” These are the sentiments of Winston Cowie, CEO of Lanzerac Hotel & Spa, to TygerBurger around 04:00 on Sunday morning, as he watches one of the wine estate’s key buildings laid to ruin.

This building, immediately left of the centuries old Lanzerac Manor House, went up in flames just before 03:00 on Sunday morning. It houses the reception area, some guest lodgings and the hotel’s restaurant, The Governor’s Hall.

Cowie further says: “I can’t even describe what I’m feeling. There is a cupboard in there, imported from France and valued at over R600,000 –gone. The paintings, irreplaceable.

“We are lucky it happened at this building, which was built around 1926, ’27, and not the manor house.

“We doused the manor house in water to prevent the fire spreading there. Then we tried to get everyone to safety. Thank goodness the fire was contained in the one building.” Asked about insurance, Cowie says he cannot even think of that yet. “Our main concern was everyone’s safety and keeping the blaze contained.”

Guests were requested to gather on the grounds at the hotel’s deli/cellar building, where Cowie says the hotel will be setting up to accommodate guests with concerns, as the electricity was uninterrupted there. At 04:40 the electricity to the adjacent buildings, guest sleeping quarters, went back on.

An air of calm is felt on the scene, as TygerBurger can see rescue workers hosing down the interior of the burning building, with smoke filling the air dramatically at 04:50.

There are seven large and two small fire tenders on the scene at 04:50.

 

Lanzerac Hotel & Spa in Stellenbosch up in flames.

The section of The luxurious Lanzerac Hotel & Spa which houses their restaurant, went up in flames in the early hours of Sunday morning.

TygerBurger, who happens to be on the scene, saw local Fire & Rescue Services battle the blaze until well into the morning, with guests, staff and rescue personnel dotting the manicured lawns as they helplessly watch the flames devour the more than three centuries old building.

In an unfortunate and ironic twist, most of the Hotel & Spa is in a refurbishing process. TygerBurger learnt the building was evacuated immediately as soon as the alarm was raised. A guest on the scene told TygerBurger they had heard an explosion earlier. TygerBurger is awaiting confirmation on the cause of the fire, which is still in full blaze.

By 03:50 rescue personnel had contained the fire to the single building and guests were advised to gather at the next building, which houses the winery’s centuries old cellar.

Updates to follow. — Michelle Linnert, Lanzerac

Source: TygerBurger Facebook

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