Blaze burns Gauteng Premier’s finance offices

2017-06-30 12:59
The aftermath of the fire at the Gauteng Premier's office. (Iavan Piljoos, News24)

The aftermath of the fire at the Gauteng Premier's office. (Iavan Piljoos, News24)

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Johannesburg - The finance offices of the Gauteng premier's department were on Friday morning destroyed in a blaze apparently caused by an electrical fault with a plug, Premier David Makhura said.

"Nevertheless, we have an off-site back-up, particularly of the files," he said, assuring the public that all documentation was safe – and that the fire had been contained.

All 280 staff members were evacuated from the offices within minutes, and no injuries were reported – although some people were being treated for shock.

Wearing a hard hat and safety vest, Makhura, who left the ANC policy conference in Nasrec, was on site to address the media and check in on operations to curb the fire.

Firefighters were seen in the background, monitoring the plumes of smoke billowing from the higher levels of the office block, as the sound of glass shattering could be heard erupting.

Makhura said a staff member had seen the fire start at 08:40 on the 7th floor from an electrical plug.

"Someone saw the exact cause of the fire."

The premier praised operations by disaster management, rescue services and the police – saying that since the recent Grenfell Tower fire in London, he had been particularly concerned that the province would be able to deal with possible similar situations.

"All the time we have been asking our infrastructure department that all should be in order." 

Makhura said he had wanted to ensure that the province had the "capacity to save lives and out the fire as quickly as possible". 

"We are pleased that there is no life lost," he added.

Read more on:    david makhura  |  johannesburg  |  fires

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