On Sunday morning, a woman was arrested for allegedly setting a building in Johannesburg on fire, resulting in the death of two individuals.
The Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) confirmed this devastating event, with four people currently receiving medical treatment in the hospital.
According to Nana Radebe-Kgiba, the spokesperson for Johannesburg EMS, the fire broke out in a residential building located at Commissioner and Nugget streets in the CBD.
As search and rescue operations continue, two people were found dead, while two others had to jump from the second floor to escape the flames. Additionally, three individuals were rescued from the building’s balcony.
Radebe-Kgiba explained that the fire spread rapidly throughout the building due to the presence of highly combustible materials.
Once the firefighting operations are complete, EMS will conduct preliminary investigations to determine the cause of the fire. Witnesses have reported seeing the arrested woman pouring paraffin and starting the fire, leading to her apprehension by the SAPS.
The full extent of the fire’s impact is yet to be determined, as city officials are still in the process of conducting a head count.
Concerns have been raised about the safety of the building, with Radebe-Kgiba describing the interior as resembling an informal settlement. City Manager Flloyd Brink, speaking to the media at the scene, revealed that the building was hijacked.
While the immigration status of the occupants remains uncertain, the city of Joburg is actively working to address the issue of illegally occupied buildings.
This tragic incident serves as a reminder of the importance of fire safety measures and the need for proper building regulations to prevent such devastating events from occurring in the future.