Fire breaks out at Bloemfontein school hostel
34 primary school girls were evacuated on Sunday afternoon, 5 June 2022, from the Dr Blok Secondary School's hostel in Heidedal, Bloemfontein, due to a fire. The fire originated in a bedroom on the ground floor of the temporary building and spread rapidly throughout the entire building. The Mangaung Fire Brigade was notified at 16h57 and arrived within ten minutes on the scene.
Their response included 12 fire fighters, two fire engines and a water tanker. At that stage the fire had progressed to an advanced stage on the ground floor, as well as the first floor. Three girls had to be hospitalised for smoke inhalation.
The Divisional Officer Mangaung Fire and Rescue Department, Braam van Zyl that a few learners were still inside the hostel when the fire broke out but managed to evacuate into a hall on the school grounds. “Both the ground floor as well as the second floor caught fire and everything inside the building has been destroyed.”
The Free State Education Department Spokesperson, Howard Ndaba, said that there were 59 learners living in the hostel and that the department has managed to secure them accommodation for the evening. “The MEC for education, Tate Makgoe and other officials will be heading to the school tomorrow to decide on a way forward.”
The girls residing in the hostel have lost all their belongings.
The cause of the fire is being investigated.
In 2019 the school's previous hostel also burned down after the fire originated in the residence head's flat. A new residence is being built and will be completed soon.
Sources: Braam van Zyl, divisional officer, Mangaung Fire Department; Bloemfontein Courant