The owners of the famous Muisboskerm seafood restaurant on Lamberts Bay on the West Coast hope to open their doors again within a week after a fire broke out there early Friday morning.
Half of the restaurant was engulfed in flames.
The restaurant belongs to the Turner family and has been a major attraction in the Lamberts Bay area for the past 37 years.
According to co-owner Ian Turner, the fire is believed to have broken out in the bar area around 1am and spread to the rest of the restaurant.
On Thursday evening, the restaurant received another 100 guests, most of whom were foreigners. The last guests left at 23:00.
Turner heard about the fire around 2:30 a.m. and rushed to the scene with his fire extinguisher. His mother, Elmien, and sister, Charlotte, who are also co-owners, arrived shortly after to assist him.
The West Coast District Municipality’s fire department was on the scene at around 04:00.
“The officer was on the scene at 03:54 and the first vehicle at 04:09. Already upon the arrival of our officer, he was told that about half of the structure had already burned down,” confirms Bertus Senekal, fire chief of the municipality.
The dining and reception area, which was built from mouse bush branches, burned down. This material is highly flammable.
The Turner family suspects that the fire was caused by arson or an electrical short circuit.
“This is the first fire that has broken out in the 37 years of the restaurant’s existence.”
According to Turner, the repairs will not take long due to the simplicity of the place and they hope to be fully operational again within two to three weeks.
“We believe that we will open again within a week. So people who have reservations need not worry.”
According to Turner, the police are investigating a case of arson, but the provincial spokesperson has not yet responded to RNews’s enquiry.