The fire began after the kitchen of the Istanbul Kebab & Shawarma restaurant reportedly experienced a gas explosion. The exact cause of the explosion is under investigation.
The incident took place just after lunch time on Saturday, with emergency services called to the scene at the shopping centre on Rivonia Boulevard in Sandton just before 14:00.
Initial reports indicated that three people had been injured, but this tally had risen to eight by Saturday evening, according to Johannesburg emergency services.
The exact number of injured people couldn’t be confirmed, with ER24 paramedics saying four people had been treated.
Johannesburg Emergency Services spokesperson Nana Radebe confirmed the incident, saying the injured had sustained burn wounds that ranged from serious to critical.
They have been hospitalised.
“We received a call at 13:40 of a structural fire at the mall. When we arrived, we found that a gas bottle at one of the restaurants had exploded,” Radebe said on Saturday.
According to TimesLive the owner and restaurant manager were injured after going into the kitchen to help evacuate staff. Some of the injured suffered burns to more than half of their bodies, while others were treated for smoke inhalation.
ER24 paramedics and several other services, such as Emer-G-Med, also arrived at the scene.
“Fire Services began to battle the blaze while medics assessed the patients found on the scene. The patients were treated for their injuries and the critically injured patient provided with advanced life support interventions. After treatment, the critically injured patient was airlifted to hospital by a private medical helicopter while the remaining patients were transported by ambulance,” ER24 said in a statement.
Nine shops were damaged during the fire, emergency services officials said.