Second fire at Steve Biko Hospital in two weeks

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Steve Biko Hospital. Photo: Gallo Images / Getty Images
Steve Biko Hospital. Photo: Gallo Images / Getty Images

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Another fire has broken out at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria – the second in just two weeks. The blaze is believed to have started in a linen closet in a medical ward at 6:15pm on Sunday.

It is believed that the fire could have been caused by cigarettes.

Gauteng health department spokesperson Kwara Kekana says:

While the definite cause of the fire is unknown, the facility has confirmed that a number of fresh cigarette butts were found close to the area where the fire started.

Patients were temporarily evacuated as a safety precaution. There were no casualties.

“The fire was quickly extinguished by staff in the facility and by 8:15pm, patients were returned to the ward.”

Kekana said City of Tshwane officials declared the site safe for re-entry.

READ: Classrooms set alight at schools across the country prompt arson investigation

City Press has been reliably informed that the hospital’s emergency unit is not operational following the fire.

However, Kekana insists that it’s business as usual.

Hospital fires appear to be happening more frequently.

A fire broke out at the Steve Biko Hospital on May 30.

READ: Fire breaks out at Steve Biko Academic Hospital

The blaze started in a Wendy house used as a temporary storage unit for Covid-19 medical waste.

At the time, Kekana said there were no patient or staff casualties as only the temporary structure was affected.

“The fire broke out at around 1:20am at the Wendy house. It also affected a special temporary isolation unit and a tent used for triage (for examining sick or injured people).

“About 18 patients and a corpse that were in separate temporary structures close to where the fire broke out had to be moved to other areas of the hospital as a safety precaution.”

Kekana said that the cause of that fire has not been determined.


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