Isidingo set destroyed in massive fire

2012-06-14 07:33
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – The set of popular SABC3 soapIsidingo was destroyed on Wednesday night when a massive fire ripped through the studio in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, causing tens of millions of rands worth of damage.

The blaze broke out at the SABC's Henley Studios just after 20:00, completely destroying the Isidingo set of the Endemol SA production. The unexpected fire caused widespread panic and shocked SABC executives as well as the cast and crew when they heard the news.

The fire was eventually brought under control as firefighters battled the Isidingo blaze and nobody was injured.

No foul play

This is by far the biggest fire the South African public broadcaster has ever experienced at its Auckland Park headquarters in the history of the SABC, according to insiders who said that the SABC went into complete emergency mode shortly after the fire broke out.

The main concern was to keep SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 on the air and to not have the national television or radio transmission affected. The SABC is classified as a "national point of interest" and is a national strategic and safety and security concern.

The public broadcaster immediately mobilised as the Isidingo studio was being gutted by the raging fire. The SABC told Channel24 that no foul play is expected at this stage, but that the Isidingo studio, containing millions of rands of equipment and sets have been completely destroyed in the blaze. No cause for the Isidingo fire is yet known.

The fire has brought an immediate end to the production of the soap as well as other productions in the studio complex. The soap, which is pre-recorded about three months in advance, has several episodes in the can, so the series will not immediately disappear from television.

It will, however, immediately create huge pressure on the SABC, Endemol SA, the producers and SABC3 which broadcasts the show, which will  immediately start with emergency meetings on Friday.

'No break in transmission'

The SABC is extremely concerned about other possible related damage as well - damage to other adjacent sets, as well as the SABC building structurally and especially cabling running through the SABC's Auckland Park headquarters which will definitely also have been damaged in the blaze.

"There is no need for panic," SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told Channel24 just before midnight on Wednesday. He confirmed that the Isidingo set has been completely destroyed.

"Nobody has been injured. The loss of sets and equipment will total millions, but there is no need for panic. The SABC is operational, SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 are all broadcasting; there has been no break in transmission. And everything was insured. In the morning we will go and have a look and be able to check and see after the fire is out, what the true extent of the damage is."

"A thorough investigation will start in the morning as to the cause of the fire and the damage to the SABC, the studio and Isidingo," said Kganyago.

Related sets and therefore other SABC productions and TV shows on SABC1 and SABC2 could also be affected depending on the damage to the studio and sets. "We don't suspect foul play but serious investigations will start first thing in the morning."  


  • Advocatus.Diabolis - 2012-06-14 07:54

    Prime suspect... GENERATIONS!!!

      Omo - 2012-06-14 08:59

      LOL Nice one! But seriously will isidingo still be running,i can live without my daily dose of isidingo :(

      farmfreund - 2012-06-14 09:24

      That is the best news i have heard in a long time, does this mean they are not on TV any more

      martin.ferguson.7311 - 2012-06-14 11:21

      how i wish it was 7de laan

      Phillip - 2012-06-14 12:45

      Isidingo needed some spark lately... now i guess they got it... Cant wait for the Nando's advert.. possibly something to do with their flame-grilled chicken being to spicy for Cheryl.

      shooshyu.tu - 2012-06-14 16:18

      man, this show was hot.

  • Preshen - 2012-06-14 08:08

    Rodney Grobler did it

      Advocatus.Diabolis - 2012-06-14 08:15

      Or is it Quentin De Cock...

  • mnkonwana - 2012-06-14 08:37

    Rodney did ir

  • john.dough.5836711 - 2012-06-14 08:40

    I smell a huge rat here. Why is it that the fire happens after the SABC sold Isidingo to Mnet (28/05/2012). Nice fat insurance claims.

  • Nomonde Dyantyi - 2012-06-14 08:42

    i must say this article is much better than the one published earlier this morning

  • yolande.rwaai - 2012-06-14 08:43

    I, personally don't watch soapies. I find them ridiculous, over-the-top

      Omo - 2012-06-14 09:01

      Isidingo is not a soapie ,it is something else in a league of it's own.

      Triumphant - 2012-06-14 11:45

      Well SA Drama is based on the days of our lives model which means that intrigue and etc is "I don't love you any more, so I am sleeping with your best friend, brother and father and it's so hard to decide who is giving me true love. But when I have gone through this phase I will know better." Ever actually watched The Wild for example and compared it with other Over sease productions, it's slap stick stage production in front of the camera, devoid of character, character dynamic and singularly without personality of any sort. Seriously, you can watch Isidingo, switch to generations, catch a few episodes of the the Wild in between and still know what is going on in 7de Laan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • kobus.hattingh.5 - 2012-06-14 08:44

    Its no loss really. Just move their only asset, Cheryl, to 7de Laan :)

      Omo - 2012-06-14 09:03

      Cheryl their only asset? What about Barker,Calvin,Xavier e.t.c? Everyone in Isidingo is an asset.In all my years in SA Isidingo is one show that has always had quality "unfake" actors.

      bfharcombe - 2012-06-14 09:52

      Isidingo tops any soap and the best actors and actresses are in it.

  • th3.grudg3 - 2012-06-14 08:45

    The fire has brought an immediate end to the production\r\nof the soap as well as other productions in the studio\r\ncomplex. The soap, which is pre-recorded about three\r\nmonths in advance, has several episodes in the can, so\r\nthe series will not immediately disappear from television.

      gregory.wellsclifton - 2012-06-14 08:56

      And your point is? Proving that you can copy / paste? Or showing your parrot skills?

      Raymond - 2012-06-14 13:00

      Please somebody, what does \r\n\ mean?

  • thabiso.letlhabane - 2012-06-14 08:46

    lol, i see a conspirasy here, some1 from generations maybe

  • dhirshan.gobind - 2012-06-14 08:48

    cherel or ben did this! or braam le roux's ghost

  • KarateMarty - 2012-06-14 08:49

    Insurance fraud for sure, how stupid are the people at SABC?

  • dineo.matjila.9 - 2012-06-14 08:50

    I suspect foul play someone is angry at the resent gay/lesbian rape saga

      shooshyu.tu - 2012-06-14 16:21

      Chief suspect is a bunch of angry common sense Bok supporters who won't support DSTV.

  • ivan.cwaile - 2012-06-14 08:56

    No, I disagree. Our newest villain happened to watch a video he was supposed to see only after the death of his father (Barker Haines). It's just Jody trying to impress his father. I wonder what Kimmie and Cherel will think of this stunt. Benjamin is being made to eat humble pie by an upstart. Iyoh ....

  • Mojalefa4m - 2012-06-14 09:06

    I am happy no one hurt. The cast and the production officers. I wish endermol a speedy recovery.

  • Mojalefa4m - 2012-06-14 09:06

    I am happy no one hurt. The cast and the production officers. I wish endermol a speedy recovery.

  • len.cooper.31 - 2012-06-14 09:16

    If they have 3months worth of footage clearly that can last until another set is built. Or is this just a strategy to can the soapie ?

  • Kennosi - 2012-06-14 09:23

    That is a very sad thing when they just won awards.

      Triumphant - 2012-06-14 14:36

      Some times better to fade away on a high note

  • nevileen.ramraj - 2012-06-14 10:33

    I am totally gonna freak out if there will be any i mean any break in transmission as i simply cannot live a day without my ISIDINGO. please work fast on trying to sort out the studio. Nevilene Ramraj

      Aristar - 2012-06-14 11:39

      What is Isidingo? Some kind of Australian dog?

      capella.riley - 2012-06-14 11:46

      soaps shoot approx 6 weeks ahead and they pretty much in line so no you will see your show

  • shelmarieg - 2012-06-14 10:58

    Cherel de Villiers le Roux did it, she likes playing with :-))

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