A total of nine people – including one infant – have been killed after a fire ripped through the Kaserne parking garage in Johannesburg. The location, which is occupied by poverty-stricken citizens living in shacks, went up in flames earlier this morning. Several locals also injured themselves by leaping out of the five-story structure.
Death toll from the Johannesburg fire – Wednesday 14 April
The CBD inferno commanded a large emergency response, but there was little that firefighting crews could do to prevent any more deaths. A total of 20 patients received treatment on the scene, with severe burns and fractures reported.
It’s believed that roughly 100 shacks caught fire on Wednesday morning, and although a large majority of residents managed to escape, each of the nine tragic deaths will be felt immeasurably by this tight-knit community.
Watch: Fire rips through shacks in Johannesburg CBD
Firefighters are still on scene of a fire that destroyed multiple shacks inside a 5-story Kaserne parking garage near Kwa Mai Mai. Sadly 9 people, including an infant, died in the blaze that started this morning. 20 patients were treated on scene & rushed to hospital for burns pic.twitter.com/Vvij1hUM2k
— City of Joburg EMS (@CityofJoburgEMS) April 14, 2021
— mahlako steph komane (@saneliswak) April 14, 2021
“Severe burns and fractures” also reported
Emergency Services spokesperson Nana Radebe made a media statement earlier in the day. The medic confirmed a number of details from the harrowing scene – but was unable to comprehensively explain what caused this devastating fire.
“This is one of the hijacked buildings that have shacks inside. Around one hundred shacks have been affected, and nine people have died, including an infant. A number of people were also treated on scene and most of them were taken to hospital with burns and fractures.”
“At this moment we are still busy with what caused the fire but we can confirm that it started on the ground and spread to two other floors where other people were found.”