Generator caused Joburg building fire - resident

Photo: Moses Moyo, Twitter
Photo: Moses Moyo, Twitter

Johannesburg - A woman who has been staying in the hijacked Cape York building in the Johannesburg CBD for over a year, told News24 that Wednesday's fire was caused by a generator.

"You know we don't have electricity or water in the building, so someone was using a generator and that is what caused the fire. All we saw was flames and we ran for safety," Rashadi Ditriech told News24.

Ditriech and a few other residents were sitting on the pavement while the fire was being extinguished.

LIVE: 'Residents live in squalor and pay with their lives' - Joburg Mayor on deadly blaze

The 24-year-old said more than a 100 people were staying in the building.

"When the fire started, two people jumped from the fourth floor. Everyone was shocked and they had to run away, bra. You know what I mean," she said.

Johannesburg Emergency Management Services spokesperson Nana Radebe said seven people had been confirmed dead.

"One jumped and six other died of smoke inhalation," Radebe said.

Radebe said seven others had been taken to hospital. Two of the seven had burn wounds to their hands and feet.

Over 50 people had been rescued from the building.

Radebe said the fire had been extinguished.

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