Structural fire at Public Protector's Cape Town office, staff evacuated
A fire broke out for a second time in the Public Protector's Cape Town office on Thursday, 29 July 2021. The fourth-floor offices are in The Block on the corner of Wale Street and Bree Street in the Cape Town CBD. It is a serviced office space initiative offering a concierge and CCTV. Staff were evacuated and gathered on a nearby pavement as smoke billowed from the top of the building. Jermaine Carelse, spokesperson at the City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service said, “The emergency call was received at 09h05 of a building alight in Wale Street and the fire was extinguished at 10h03. The incident occurred on the fourth floor of the Office of the Public Protector at 51 Wale Street. Roeland Street Fire Station responded with two fire engines and an aerial appliance with a total of 12 staff members.”
“The fire was contained to a single storeroom which housed mostly documentation. One adult male suffered smoke inhalation and was treated on scene. Minimal structural damage; contents ( documentation) were severely damaged.
To ensure that all the occupants of the building and particularly the fourth floor was evacuated and that everyone was accounted for”, said Carelse.
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said, “The fire was contained and extinguished by the Cape Town Fire Department. The fire was confined to the storeroom, which contained cleaning material, toilet paper and sanitiser. There were no injuries sustained by staff members. There were five staff members present when the fire started.
“The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage. Fire Department will send their investigator to the scene to determine the exact cause of the fire,” Van Wyk said.
Public Protector spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said no investigation documents were lost in the fire. “Staff are safe and investigation files have not been lost.”
The building is leased through the Department of Public Works. "We have informed the department to bring this incident to the attention of the landlord. The department's regional office will go and assess the extent of damage."
Sources: Jermaine Carelse, spokesperson, City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service, IOL, News 24