50 homeless after fire in downtown Johannesburg


About 50 people are left without a place to live after a devastating fire broke out in a building in downtown Johannesburg on Saturday morning.

There were 20 squatters’ huts set up inside this building on the corner of Church and Goud Street when it caught fire early in the morning. The squatters’ cabins were all destroyed in the fire.

Nana Radebe-Kgiba, spokesperson for the Johannesburg emergency services, says the building was already engulfed in flames when the emergency services arrived at the scene.

“The fire spread very quickly because of the flammable material that was used to build the shelters.”

Radebe-Kgiba says no deaths have been reported. One patient was transported to a hospital this morning for medical treatment.

An investigation into the cause of the fire will be conducted.

The City of Johannesburg’s disaster management unit was on the scene this morning to assist the families affected by the fire.

This building is located not far from the hijacked Usindiso building on the corner of Albert and Delver Streets in Marshalltown which caught fire in August last year. This fire in the early hours of August 31 last year claimed the lives of 76 people.

RNews reported earlier this week that Sithembiso Mdlalose, the man who earlier admitted that he was responsible for the devastating fire, just earlier this week abandoned his application for bail.

Mdlalose was arrested last month after he admitted to the Khampepe commission of inquiry into the fire that he started it.