Pretoria court fire investigated

2010-10-28 14:08
Pretoria – Investigators were on Thursday sifting through the burnt out remains of the Pretoria Magistrate's Court's third floor to determine what had caused a fire that one report said had caused damage of R30m.

Tshwane Metro Fire spokesperson Johan Pieterse said that it was too early to determine what had caused the Wednesday afternoon fire which resulted in the roof collapsing.

He said it was believed that the fire had started in an unused courtroom of the old building shortly before 14:00 on Wednesday.

The new building, which is linked to the old building was unaffected by the fire.

He said staff had initially tried to battle the blaze themselves using 10 to 15 fire extinguishers once they had managed to open the court room.

"But the fire had spread through the roof," he said.

The Pretoria News on Thursday quoted Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair as saying that he estimated the damage at R30m and believed the fire may have been caused by faulty electrics.

Evacuation went smoothly

He said that the alarms had worked and that the evacuation had gone very smoothly.

Pieterse said the reason for believing that the fire had been caused by faulty electrics came about because the staff who had initially battled the blaze had reported seeing sparks coming from the roof of the disused court room.

He said the building was closed because it was unsafe to work in and fire fighters were still on stand-by in case of any further flare ups.

Prosecutors, lawyers, accused people and family and friends were all packed into the Pretoria Central Police Station where criminal first appearances were taking place.

Prosecutors could be heard shouting case numbers and calling names while people whose cases had been called desperately attempted to make their way through the masses.

Civil matters were being handled at the old traffic court in Visagie Street.

The building was built in 1942.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    fires publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks want to continue upward curve
We'll do it our way - Les Bleus
Ton-up Giteau defies his own expectations
The game of Heyneke’s life
Traffic Alerts

You may find it hard to focus on the mundane routines as the greener pastures seem so tempting. It is a good time to expand more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.