A day of fire in Gauteng

2018-09-05 19:50


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Gauteng was plagued by several fires on Wednesday, leaving three firefighters dead, numerous people injured and buildings severely damaged.

It started in the early hours of Wednesday when firefighters in Edenvale, Ekurhuleni worked tirelessly to extinguish a blaze that engulfed a block of flats.

According to Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services spokesperson William Ntladi, firefighters reacted swiftly after the block caught fire around 01:00.

"Edenvale firefighters, assisted by Bedfordview, Kempton Park, Primrose, Tembisa and Boksburg firefighting crews, all worked tirelessly to contain and extinguish the well-alight three-storey building at the corner of Main and Terrace roads," Ntladi said in a statement.

"[The] fire was already [spreading] behind the ceiling on the top floor, [causing] many other apartments to be at risk. The burnt apartments' roof collapsed due to flame damage."

Ntladi said strong winds accelerated the rate of the spread of the fire which moved across all apartments on the second floor, putting the entire building and adjacent structures at risk of being wiped out.

"The entire building had to be evacuated to enhance safety to all occupants of the residence.

"At least eight apartments were destroyed, resulting [in] two adult occupants, a male and a female, being hospitalised with minor injuries."

At around 05:30 on Wednesday, Johannesburg Emergency Services were alerted to a fire that broke out at a glue and paper factory in Kya Sand.

WATCH: No injuries or fatalities in Johannesburg factory fire

The raging fire engulfed the entire factory, causing the roof to collapse, News24 reported earlier.

According to Johannesburg Emergency Services spokesperson Nana Radebe, no one was inside the factory when the fire started. As a result, no injuries or fatalities were recorded.

On the same day, also in Ekurhuleni, scores of Angelo informal settlement in Boksburg had to evacuate their shacks at around 08:23 after the fire destroyed 30 of the informal homes.

Ntladi said the inferno gutted shacks. Firefighters intervened and successfully stopped the fire from spreading.

"On arrival, crews from Leon Ferreira Fire Station in Boksburg, backed up by Primrose and Boksburg central fire stations respectively, found multiple structures gutted by a huge ball of flames," Ntladi said.

He said prompt intervention prevented flames from spreading to the entire informal settlement and averted  what was to be a "catastrophic ordeal" for Angelo residents.

He said no casualties were recorded on the scene and that disaster management officials assisted those who were injured.  

The cause of both fires in Ekurhuleni has not been determined and is under investigation.

Also on Wednesday, three firefighters died after battling a blaze that broke out at a Gauteng government building in Johannesburg's CBD.

Two succumbed to their injuries after they became trapped in the building, while another fell to his death as he battled the blaze.

READ: Three firefighters confirmed dead following Johannesburg building fire

Thirteen Gauteng government officials and eight firefighters were taken to hospital for treatment, News24 reported.

Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development Jacob Mamabolo confirmed the deaths at a media briefing on Wednesday afternoon.

Investigations into what caused the blaze would be undertaken, although there have been suspicions that an electrical fault could be to blame.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  johannesburg  |  fires

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