Where to now for residents of fire-ravaged Marshalltown building?

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Joined: Oct 2016

Brink said three temporary sites have been identified wherein the affected residents will be accommodated while the rescue operations and investigations at the building continue.

The sites are the Hofland Recreation Centre in Bez Valley, the Ekhaya shelter in Hillbrow and the Impilo shelter in Fairview/Jeppestown. 

Brink said after 72 hours, the city’s human settlements department will advise on where the displaced people will be taken to once all logistics and related verifications have been finalised. 

Forensic investigators have started with investigations into the cause of the fire.

Brink said the Johannesburg emergency management services (EMS) responded to a fire alert at 1.19am and the first responders were on the scene 10 minutes later.  

“From EMS, the city’s fire department rapidly deployed two fire engines, one heavy rescue vehicle, one air truck, two level incident command units, 43 firefighters and 14 officers.” 

Brink said the Gauteng health emergency management services also attended to the scene and assessed, stabilised, treated and transported the injured to the medical facilities around the city.  

Brink said as at 2pm on Thursday, 61 people were treated at various medical facilities in and around the city.  

He  said all efforts were being put in place to provide the families and all affected with the relevant social and psychological support through the city’s disaster management and social development department.  

“Our social development department has deployed 16 social workers to provide assessment, trauma counselling and psychosocial support. The city of Johannesburg disaster management is working with the human settlements department to co-ordinate emergency accommodation for survivors and the affected.”

Brink said the building belongs to the municipality and was previously leased to the Gauteng social development department and used as a shelter for abused women.  

“At the conclusion of the lease, some challenges were encountered with the occupants and as a result of the hostilities and stalemate, the building was invaded and hijacked.  

“In October 2019, the city, through its group forensics and investigation services, raided the building and over 140 foreign nationals [were arrested] by home affairs and a suspect was incarcerated and charged for illegally collecting rental from tenants at the building. 

However, Brink said the case was with the police and and no update was immediately available at this stage.  


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