WATCH | Mob loots shops after deadly 'hijacked building' fire in Joburg CBD
Three people died and a fourth was treated for smoke inhalation when a hijacked building was engulfed in flames in Jeppestown, Johannesburg, early on Sunday.
Criminals took advantage of the blaze and started looting shops in the area.
EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said: "We received a call of a burning building at around 5am. Paramedics attended to the blaze but unfortunately three people were certified dead. One person was injured and treated for smoke inhalation," he told TimesLIVE.
Mulaudzi said the cause of the fire was unknown. "Investigations are under way. We however just want to urge our residents to pay attention to heating devices, stoves, candles and heaters for example, to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future," he added.
Police spokesperson Capt Mavela Masondo said four people had been arrested for public violence in Jeppestown after the looting of several shops in the area.
"It is alleged that an old building that is occupied by squatters in Jeppestown caught fire at about 5am. Three people died in the building. The residents around the area started attacking and looting several shops that are around the vicinity," said Masondo
Police said the situation was tense but had later been brought under control.