Arson view after old Brakpan library building goes up in flames

Henry

The possibility that a fire that caused great damage to the abandoned library building on Brakpan on Friday evening was deliberately started is being investigated.

William Ntladi, spokesperson for the Ekurhuleni emergency service, says the call about the fire was received shortly after 19:00 on Friday. The fire station is a stone’s throw from the abandoned building and according to him, some members of the fire brigade simply ran to the premises.

According to some residents, they saw smoke billowing from the building shortly before 7:00 p.m.

When firefighters arrived, the building was already in flames and fire suppression was started immediately, says Ntladi. Three fire stations, Brakpan Central, Benoni Central and the Tsakane fire station, were called to the scene.

Firefighters also took preventive action to prevent the flames from spreading to surrounding buildings.

No injuries were reported and no other buildings were damaged.

The building, which previously housed a library, has been empty for years.

Some eyewitnesses claimed at the scene that a vehicle had stopped at the building shortly before, and someone had thrown something at it. The flames were apparently visible soon after, says Ntladi.

The Brakpan police were also on the scene and will investigate the incident further. RNews has made an inquiry to the police and comments will be updated.