Fire hydrants at Braam Park not working at the time of blaze

The top floor of the Braam Park Office Park in Johannesburg was destroyed in a fire on Tuesday afternoon. Synock Matobako, spokesperson, City of Johannesburg Emergency Medical Services explains what could have caused the fire.

The fire hydrants were apparently not working at the time.

Ray White: Do we know exactly what happened with the fire hydrants?

We are not quite sure what happened but our fire investigation officers are also following up on the problems we encountered and they will be able to give us more information.

Synock Matobako, spokesperson, City of Johannesburg Emergency Medical Services

Ray White: Take us through these fire hydrants, who checks them?

The requirement on your Building Regulation Act, when you construct a building, your fire requirements are supposed to form part of the building regulations. When you build a place where you know you'll have high occupancy, there are certain fire requirements that you need to comply with.

Synock Matobako, spokesperson, City of Johannesburg Emergency Medical Services

Also read: Zanele brings the heat! JHB woman's #Braampark witness account

Based on those requirements, your building plans will go for inspection and then be declared a building that is certified to occupy people. There should be inspections done by the fire department before giving a fire clearance certificate.

Synock Matobako, spokesperson, City of Johannesburg Emergency Medical Services

But what happens then is that some of the buildings after the fire clearance certificate has been issued, they do alterations, some of which are not communicated with the fire department.

Synock Matobako, spokesperson, City of Johannesburg Emergency Medical Services

So it's the responsibility of the property owner to make sure those requirements are there. I'm not sure if at this building they did any inspection.

Synock Matobako, spokesperson, City of Johannesburg Emergency Medical Services

Ray White: Do we know what happened yesterday?

We have information that came later after the fire was contained, to say that there was a contractor working on the roof, filling the roof with tar, using a gas torch. By the look of things its one of things the fire investigative officers are looking at.

Synock Matobako, spokesperson, City of Johannesburg Emergency Medical Services

Watch: Braampark fire partially destroys building

For the full interview, listen to the audio below:


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