Fanie Mthupha
1 minute read
1 Jun 2015
12:25 pm

R7m worth of equipment destroyed in hospital fire

Fanie Mthupha

A raging fire gutted a storage facility at Tambo Memorial Hospital and destroyed R7-million worth of medical supplies as well as administration equipment.

A fire burnt through a storage facility at Tambo Memorial Hospital in Johannesburg on 30 May 2015.The department says a preliminary investigation shows that the fire may have been caused by an oil heater. The building stored medical supplies as well as administration tools. Pictured on 31 May 2015. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Gauteng Heath MEC Qedani Mahlangu arrived at the scene of the fire on Sunday morning to assess the damage, following the fire on Saturday, Boksburg Advertiser reported.

She confirmed the blaze, which started at about 9pm last night, destroyed consumables, cleaning material, stationery, surgical supplies including bandages, disposable gloves and other equipment. Mahlangu said the supplies alone would cost an estimated R7 million to replace, adding that the full extent of the damage was still being assessed.

Firefighters managed to contain the fire before it could spread to other buildings of the hospital. Mahlangu said a preliminary investigation showed the fire may have been caused by an oil heater, but that has not been conclusively confirmed.

Investigators are still trying to establish the exact cause of the fire. Mahlangu admitted the fire would have a devastating effect on the hospital’s day-to-day operations. She, however, stated the department would now work with hospital management to make sure the supplies lost in the fire were immediately replaced before stocks ran out.

She said they had to establish what supplies they needed in the coming 48 hours so their patients would not be affected. Mahlangu mentioned her department would work with the department of infrastructure to repair the building and install a fire sprinkler system.

The hospital CEO, Vish Naidoo, was also at the scene and briefed the MEC on the fire. No one was injured.

Last September, 45 patients at Letaba hospital, in eastern Limpopo, were evacuated after the psychiatric ward caught fire, the provincial health department said. The cause of the fire was unclear. No deaths or injuries were reported, spokesperson Macks Lesufi said.

– Caxton News Service