Second fire at Charlotte Maxeke in Johannesburg latest in series of fires ravaging South African hospitals
The fire, which broke out at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg on Tuesday night, 5 July 2022, was the fourth fire to hit hospitals in Gauteng this year. The fire started in the parking lot and was eventually extinguished. There was, however, no need for patients to be evacuated. The Gauteng Department of Health said the smouldering fire, which was detected in an unused parking bay at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, has been brought under control.
“Late on Tuesday night, security personnel reported that there was smoke that seemed to be coming from one of the structures. Fire fighters for the City of Johannesburg immediately responded to the situation and managed to contain the fire which was confined to a small section of the level two parking,” said Gauteng Department of Health spokesperson, Motalatale Modiba.
He said police officers from the Hillbrow police station also attended the scene.
“The level two parking is one of the areas that was affected by the April 2021 fire and is currently under props and not accessible to the public or staff except for construction people,” Modiba said.
“Upon assessment of the situation clinicians on site together with the facility’s head of disaster made a call that the situation did not warrant for patients to be evacuated as the smoke from the fire was not too thick or high risk for inhalation.”
He said services at the facility continue to be rendered “as normal”.
“The status quo is currently being closely monitored by the multidisciplinary team that is on site to further assess the situation. The cause of the fire is being investigated,” Modiba said.
In response to the recent fire, the DA's Jack Bloom demanded a thorough investigation. "It is unbelievable that another fire could start at this hospital, which spends R40 million a year on security. A full investigation is needed and sabotage should definitely be suspected," he said.
Four fires have hit Gauteng hospitals this year
"There was a fire at a temporary structures at the Steve Biko Hospital on 30 May this year and there was a blaze in a linen closet in a medical ward there on 12 June. Two weeks ago, a fire occurred at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, near the COVID-19 tents and it spread to the laundry site before being put out," he said.
Charlotte Maxeke recovering from 2021 fire
Also, on the morning of Friday, 16 April 2021, a fire broke out at Charlotte Maxeke. It destroyed medical supplies, including syringes, masks and personal protective equipment (PPE), estimated to be worth R40 million.
Sources: News 24, IOL