Fire breaks out at Unisa main campus in Pretoria

December 21, 2022 0 By Cypher9ja

Fire broke out at the second floor of the University of SA’s Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Building at the Muckleneuk Campus, in Pretoria, in the early hours of Wednesday.

The City of Tshwane Emergency Services Department responded to the incident at approximately 00.59am.

Fire fighters dispatched to the scene noticed dense smoke billowing from the building even before they arrived at the incident.

City of Tshwane Emergency Services Department spokesperson Thabo Mabaso said firefighters had to force entry into three wooden doors and two steel roller doors to gain access into the building to fight the fire.

Tough entry

He said security officers at the campus assisted by opening other doors with their access cards, enabling firefighters to locate the source of the fire inside the building after battling to open multiple doors and going through stacks of files, books and furniture.

“Firefighters found stacks of books and files that were smouldering in various places on the second floor and extinguished them. Most of the second floor suffered extensive smoke and water damage, and part of the third floor also suffered some smoke damage,” Mabaso said.

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The fire fighters used an aerial ladder to open windows and conducted a mechanical ventilation to rid the building of excessive smoke.

Mabaso said according to sources at the scene, a fire had broken out in the same building about two weeks ago and was extinguished by the staff but the emergency services were never notified.

He said the cost of the damage and the cause of the fire was yet to be established.

Fire prevention course

The university offers a diploma programme in Fire Prevention and Safety Strategies stating in the course brochure that security officers are often designated as a company or organisation’s Safety & Fire Officer in addition to their security duties.

According to the course brochure, one of the successes of security officials has been their contribution to preventing and controlling fires in the industrial, commercial and public sectors, in order to ensure profitability and levels of service within the organisations where they are employed.

This module is aimed at educating security officials regarding their specific role in the prevention and control of fires.

In 2018, a fire broke out at the medical building of the University of Pretoria in the Moot, with Tshwane emergency services saying the fire broke out at about 2.51pm on the corner of Soutpansberg and Steve Biko roads.

The fire originated in an air-conditioning unit.

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