On Wednesday, June 21, two children, ages 5 and 7, were killed in a fire in a Hillbrow apartment.
The bodies of the small children believed to be siblings, were discovered burned beyond recognition by paramedics.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, although the youngsters were apparently left alone in the closed flat.
According to Johannesburg Emergency Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi, the children died as a result of smoke inhalation while stuck inside the first-floor apartment.
According to Johannesburg EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi, the fire spread to four floors of the Florence Nightingale building in Hillbrow, JHB CBD.
“The fire has since been extinguished, and our crew just recovered the bodies of two young children, believed to be between the ages of 5 and 7 years old. They were left inside the flat.
“Both children succumbed to smoke inhalation and lost their lives. There were no other injuries. The cause of the fire is still subject to investigation,” said Mulaudzi.
Meanwhile, the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Research Institute has requested a meeting with Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda and the City Manager to discuss the hazardous and occupied facility.
Wits officials claim the building is illegally occupied, even though it has been condemned and declared unsafe for human habitation for years.
“This building has been condemned and deemed unfit for human habitation. There have been multiple conversations at multiple levels in the city about how this building is a fire trap and a disaster waiting to happen.
“Yesterday two children have died in a fire and we need action to happen to prevent further tragedy.
“The history of this goes all the way back to 2006 when Wits RHI first came into the Hillbrow Health Precinct,” Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Research Institute.
Wits representatives are hoping to meet with the City of Joburg officials on Thursday, 22 June.
— FASDA (@FasdaProtect) June 21, 2023