Fallen firemen killed in Bank of Lisbon blaze honoured

The City of Johannesburg has honoured firefighters who battled the fatal Bank of Lisbon Building fire in September last year.

The fire claimed the lives of three of the firemen, including one who fell to his death from the 23rd floor.

Through the issuing of bravery awards at the Florida fire station, the three men - Simphiwe Moropane, Mduduzi Ndlovu and Khathutshelo Muedi - were among 48 people, including four police officers, who were honoured for their roles in extinguishing the blaze. The families of the three men also received medals.

READ: Joburg building fire: 'The MEC must not lie,' Denosa charges

The building, shared by the departments of health, human settlements and co-operative governance, has since been evacuated.

The use of paper to block emergency fire ducts was a major talking point and was believed to be a reason why the blaze took almost three days to extinguish completely.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura said at the time that officials knew the building did not meet safety-compliance standards. Reports suggested that the building was only 20% compliant.

Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba told firefighting personnel that there would be at least 92 fire engines in the next three years to help address concerns about the capacity of the City's emergency service.

"I have been assured that at least five fire engines will be made available in coming months," Mashaba said at the honouring event.

The City currently has 14 fire engines that serve 30 stations.

Spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi told News24 that the City was operating with less than half of the required number of fire engines.

"We should be operating with at least 30 - one for each fire station," he said.

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