In the ongoing inquiry into the tragic Marshalltown fire that claimed the lives of 77 people in Johannesburg’s CBD in August, first responders will continue to provide testimonial evidence. According to EWN, their testimonies will follow the accounts of the three firefighters who testified on day one of the public proceedings.
First responders on the scene of the deadly fire in Marshalltown will share their experiences at the commission of inquiry into the Usindiso building on Friday.
During the initial day of public proceedings, three firefighters detailed the conditions they encountered in the building on the day of the fire. They informed the commission’s chairperson, Justice Sisi Khampepe, that fire prevention systems in the building had been vandalised, and emergency evacuation routes were obstructed using cardboard material.
In August, a devastating fire ripped through the five-story hijacked building in the CBD, resulting in multiple injuries.
Lucas Thipe, the platoon commander of Johannesburg Emergency Services, will continue his testimony on Friday morning. Other first responders on the scene during the blaze will follow his testimony.
The commission learned that the fire originated on the ground floor of the building, and firefighters extinguished it before it could spread to the fourth floor.
Rapulane Monageng, the acting chief of Johannesburg Emergency Services, reported the discovery of several paraffin stoves in the building. He emphasised the dangers these stoves pose, especially their rusted structures, which could lead to fires when used.
Additionally, Monageng highlighted instances of vandalism, including portable fire extinguishers and hose reels being misused for domestic purposes, further underscoring the challenges faced by emergency responders.
Picture: X / SibambiseneF
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