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Building that took lives of three firefighters demolished

JOBURG – A decision was undertaken by the department to demolish the entire building.

Sirens, explosives, a loud bang and a cloud of dust marked the demolition of the Bank of Lisbon Building in Johannesburg this morning.

The building, which previously accommodated three provincial government departments, was engulfed by fire in September last year, resulting in the death of three firefighters who were trying to fight the fire.

An assessment of the building, carried out by engineers appointed by the Department of Infrastructure and Property Management, revealed that the fire had caused irreparable damage. A decision was undertaken by the department to demolish the entire building.

Law student, Linda Mchunu who lives at the City Waldorf residence just adjacent to the Bank of Lisbon building, said they had received a warning from Jet Demolition, the company appointed to demolish the building, to vacate their student residence today at 6.30am.

“We were given pamphlets two weeks ago instructing us to vacate our residence to prepare for the demolition of the Bank of Lisbon building. There were also sirens that woke us up in the morning to also indicate that we should vacate,” said Mchunu.

Mchunu, who witnessed the demolition process with his friends described it as a scene out of the movies. “It was a great experience. The sound of the explosion, the collapse of the building and the cloud of dust in the air was something out of this world,” added Mchunu.

Streets that were closed include Helen Joseph, Albertina Sisulu, Ntemi Piliso, Commissioner, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, Commissioner, and Fraser.

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