Explosion trapped firefighters in burning building

2015-05-17 13:12
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Fire (Shuttertstock)

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Johannesburg - Two firefighters who died from severe smoke inhalation were trapped after an explosion in a burning building in central Johannesburg, Emergency Management Services said on Sunday.

“The fire started in the basement [with] the transformer...  In the process there was an explosion in the building; there were two firefighters trapped in there,” said EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi.

A rescue team was sent into the burning office building, but despite resuscitation efforts, the two male firefighters had experienced severe smoke inhalation and were declared dead on the scene.

“One other firefighter was admitted to Garden City clinic for medical care after suffering from smoke inhalation,” said Mulaudzi.

Another firefighter was treated on the scene.

Condolences

“We have lost two brave firefighters that had contributed to the safety of the city.

“Our job is not 9 to 5; it is a calling. We just hope that God will be able to give us the strength,” said Mulaudzi, while also sending condolences to the affected families.

ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak said six fire engines and 35 firefighters had attended the scene, and expressed ER24's sympathies to all impacted by the deaths of the firefighters.

Fire investigators were at the scene on Sunday morning, Vermaak said.

In the wake of the deaths, the Congress of the People (Cope) called for firefighting equipment and respiratory protection for firefighters to be of the highest standard.

“This will enable all firefighting departments to have access, for example, to the G1 Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus by MSA Safety Incorporated,” said Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  fires

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