South Africa: Fire Contained at Parliament
Parliament confirms that the fire flare up that engulfed the roof of the National Assembly Building in the afternoon yesterday has now been contained.
The fight against the fire continued into midnight following yesterday afternoon’s re-emergence of the fire which was propelled by solid south-easterly winds and necessitated the deployment of heavy-duty aerial fire-fighting appliances to reinforce the existing capacity.
The firefighters applied a courageous and brave fighting spirit in their fight for hours last night and were able to put down the fire by midnight.
Reduction in the speed with which the wind blew assisted a great deal and placed the firefighters at an advantageous position to extinguish the fire.
Consequently, there has been the withdrawal of the reinforcement, with only six of the ten fire trucks now remaining on the scene. It is hoped that further trucks will be withdrawn during the course of the morning. The firefighters remain on-site for inspections of the various parts of the building.
Further damage has been caused, with more floors of the building, which houses offices of Members of Parliament and support staff, being completely gutted. The roof of the Building around where the flare-up occurred is now completely destroyed.
With the fire now contained, it is anticipated that the work by the multidisciplinary team of engineers, which arrived at Parliament yesterday to conduct an assessment and establish the scale of the damage – amongst others, will proceed.
The Presiding Officers of Parliament have commended the team of firefighters for the incredible work they put for days, even under risky situations, to contain the fire.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.