Local news

Joburg CBD Fire: Death toll of 74 includes 7 children

The building, owned by CoJ, was previously leased to the provincial social development department and used as a shelter for abused women.

The death toll following the fire at Usindiso Building, 80 Alberts Street in Marshalltown, Johannesburg now stands at 74 which includes seven children and 67 adults.

Also read: DA saddened by Joburg fire CBD as number of deaths rises

City Manager of Johannesburg Floyd Brink said the occupants of the building who survived the devastating fire will be accommodated at Hofland Recreation Centre in Bez Valley, Ekhaya Shelter in Hillbrow and Impilo Shelter in Fairview, Jeppestown.

It is believed a total of 200 or more families were living in the building. Photo: Joburg EMS.

Those displaced will be accommodated at these sites whilst the rescue operations and investigations at the building continue.

“After 72 hours the human settlement department will advise on where they will be taken to once all logistics and related verifications have been finalised. At this stage, we believe a total of 200 or more families were living in the building,” said Brink.

Also read: Joburg CBD fire claims 63 lives

Firefighters received the alert at 01:19 and first responders were on the scene at 01:29.

It resulted in the deployment of 43 firefighters and 14 officers to tend to the fire at the five storey building.

EMS deployed 43 firefighters. Photo: Joburg EMS.

“The Gauteng Provincial Health Emergency Management Services also attended to the scene to assess, stabilise, treat and transport the injured from the scene.

“As of 14:00 on August 31, 61 people had been treated at various medical facilities in and around the city, 16 had been discharged and 17 remain admitted with the rest still receiving care at the casualty units,” said Brink.

“All efforts are being made to provide the families and those affected with the relevant social and psychological support through the CoJ Disaster Management and Social Development departments.

“Social development deployed 16 social workers to provide assessment, trauma counselling and psychosocial support.”

Brink confirmed the building belongs to the City of Johannesburg and was previously leased to the provincial social development department and used as a shelter for abused women.

“At the conclusion of the lease, some challenges were encountered with the occupants and as a result of the hostilities, the building was invaded and hijacked.

“In October 2019, the CoJ through its Group Forensics and Investigation Services raided the building and as part of the operation, about 140 foreign nationals were apprehended by Home Affairs. A suspect was also arrested at the time and charged for illegally collecting rental from tenants at the building,” said Brink.

Rescue operations and investigations at the building continue. Photo: Joburg EMS.

 

Related Articles

 
Back to top button