Joburg streets closed as debris and glass continue to fall from fire-ravaged CBD building

06 September 2018 - 06:51 By Nico Gous
The building that houses the Gauteng department of health in Johannesburg CBD was on flames as the paramedics and fire fighters try to extinguish fire on September 5 2018.
The building that houses the Gauteng department of health in Johannesburg CBD was on flames as the paramedics and fire fighters try to extinguish fire on September 5 2018.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi

The streets surrounding the building where a fatal fire broke out on Wednesday are set to remain closed‚ as emergency services attempt to protect the public from falling pieces of glass and other debris.

“Fortunately‚ there is a staff member who was in the room where the fire started. The police are going to interview that staff member who was there. They will know exactly what caused the fire‚” he said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day‚ provincial infrastructure MEC Jacob Mamabolo said the building was just 21% compliant with occupation‚ health and safety standards. Ideally‚ he said‚ buildings should be 85% compliant.

“The efforts to put out the blaze were hampered by a lack of sufficient water pressure in the building‚ which is an important safety requirement in a building of this size. It is reported that several government officials who evacuated the building have referred to unsafe conditions in the offices‚” he said.

Mamabolo said the provincial government received a report just a week ago‚ on August 27‚ which indicated that eight government-owned buildings were non-compliant‚ including the Bank of Lisbon building. Meanwhile‚ Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba was set to visit the families of the three firefighters on Thursday.

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