UPDATE: Gauteng premier’s office on fire

A fire broke out at the offices of Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Friday after an electrical fault sparked a blaze on one of the floors of the building.

Roads leading to the office in the Johannesburg CBD were closed off following the fire in Simmonds Stree

smoke could be seen at the top of the building as paramedics‚ fire services and police attended the scene.

More firefighters were still arriving at the building around 10am.

“A section of the Office of the Premier building at 30 Simmonds Street in Johannesburg is on fire. The Johannesburg Fire Department is on site dealing with the matter‚” the premier’s office said in a statement.

“All officials have been evacuated and are safe. The City of Johannesburg Fire Department will investigate the cause of the fire and the damage thereof. Once the fire department has established the cause of the fire‚ it will be communicated to the public.”

Makhura later told journalists what he had learned about how the fire had originated.

“The fire at 0840 this morning on the seventh floor‚ was in an office where there were already people obviously‚ was a result of an electrical plug‚” Makhura said.

“There was someone who knew exactly what the cause of the fire was.”

The part of the building that caught fire housed the finance division.

Makhura said within eight minutes of the fire‚ all 280 staff had been evacuated and firefighters were on site within 15 minutes and the fire was put out within an hour.

Makhura‚ who left the ANC policy conference in Nasrec to attend the fire scene‚ said whatever was burnt on the seventh floor was safe as the office had off-site storage facilities where information was backed up.

“As we speak now‚ the fire on the seventh floor has been contained. Everything that was burnt down is available on our off site storage facility. In the finance department‚ I made sure that all documents were not lost‚” he said.

Makhura said his team would stay at the building until the area is given the all-clear.

https://twitter.com/GautengANC/status/88069026999746560

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