Greenhouse Fire

Greenhouse Fire: Popular Sandton Bar Goes Up in Flames

The interior of The Greenhouse in Sandton has been extensively damaged following a fire at the popular bar just after 10pm on Saturday night.


  • The artificial plants which adorn The Greenhouse ceiling caught fire, with flames rapidly spreading throughout the venue.
  • Entertainment on the day included DJ’s Austin Cassim, Kimmy K, and the popular South African band, GoodLuck.
  • Owners credit the open-air design of the venue as a key factor in evacuating patrons and staff without incidents.
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Whilst investigations into the fire are underway, eyewitnesses started sharing their videos and experiences on social media soon after the fire started. South African band GoodLuck was performing just before things took a turn for the worse, as described by an eyewitness.


Greenhouse Fire
The morning after the fire and The Greenhouse outside seating area with abadoned drinks. Image: The Sandton Times

We were watching GoodLuck perform and they have sparklers that go up during the chorus of their song. About 20-30min into their set the sparklers went off and caught alight on the wires of the speakers. It was just a few flames and people standing next to me (right in front of the stage) tried stamping it out. The main singer of GoodLuck was still performing at this point. The flames then caught on to the green foliage-type decorations on the roof. At this point, my friends said we need to leave. I still didn’t think it was serious I thought they’d extinguish the fire and we’d go back in. As we were walking out, people started panicking and the fire started spreading on the roof. People were shouting and telling each other to get out. We all watched in shock as the flames literally engulfed the entire venue. Honestly, I think things could have gotten much worse. We were all really lucky.

// Greenhouse Patron, Shaazia Ebrahim


Greenhouse Fire
Could this have been the stage pyrotechnics that set the hanging plant ceiling alight? The now-deleted post read: ‘Last chance to see the amazing GoodLuck’. Image: The Greenhouse (Facebook Post)


Videos shared on social media on the night show patrons and staff attempting to douse the flames with drinks and fire extinguishers, but the fire spread rapidly along the artificial hanging plant ceiling, turning a firefight into a fire flight.


Greenhouse Fire
The newly built outside deck at The Greenhouse, remained unscathed, with an abandoned fire extinguisher amongst the tables. Image: The Sandton Times

We would like to inform everyone that there has been an unfortunate event tonight at The Greenhouse and that everyone is safe and ok. We would like to thank the heroes and emergency services who helped us tonight.

// Statement via The Greenhouse (Instagram Post)


The Greenhouse interiors were conceptualised by designer Tristan Du Plessis, with an abundance of greenery, including the Greenhouse’s signature hanging plant ceiling.


Greenhouse Fire
Nothing of the vibrant wallpaper and accentuated pops of mustard yellow deco, contrasting natural wood and jade-colored marble is left following the fire. Image: The Sandton Times

Fortunately due to the mostly superficial damage, we will be up and running again soon.

// Statement via The Greenhouse (Instagram Post)


Neighboring restaurants and coffee shops at 24 Central escaped the flames undamaged. In September 2021, The Sandton Times reported on The Greenhouse Bar moving out of Rosebank to a bigger space at 24 Central in the heart of Sandton.


Greenhouse Fire
This latest incident is a major setback for Johannesburg’s nightlife, following the closure of many bars and restaurants as a result of COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions. Image: The Sandton Times

The Sandton Times has reached out to the owners of The Greenhouse as well as GoodLuck for comment, but no response has been forthcoming. For now, the cause of the fire has not yet been officially determined but the South African Police Service (SAPS) have opened an inquiry docket for further investigation by forensic services.


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