Losing a home or a business to a fire is tragic. Losing an icon is losing history and thus tragic for a whole town. Knysna lost the icon that was one of Knysna’s most famous restaurants, île de païn on Thesen Islands, owned by baker Markus Färbinger and chef Liezie Mulder.
The cause of the fire the night of May 6 2015 has yet to be determined but rumours of a power surge after load shedding are false as the fire started just before the power cut. Another rumour that there was a leaking gas bottle seem more likely when added to a rumour of an initial explosion but then begs the question, “What was the spark?” The cause of the fire will have to be determined by Knysna’s new Fire Station Commander, Clinton Manuel.
Apparently CMAI’s offices went up in flames too. CMAI is headed by Chris Mulder, the property developer who built Thesen Islands, it’s shops and gated, residential community. The Lofts Boutique Hotel was also damaged.
The owners of île de païn were on holiday when the fire occurred. Their attitude on their Facebook is to be admired:
“Thank you for all your good thoughts and wishes. We will just grow stronger with such enthusiasm and support. Love, trust and have faith in life – Markus, Liezie and the entire team.”
The same night, there was another awful fire in Knysna. View the photo at ‘House Burns, Cars Explode in Knysna’.