Case of arson opened following Braampark building fire

Police say EMS’ inspectors and firefighters will hand over the scene to the SAPS once they’ve wrapped up their own sweeps.

A Braampark building on fire on 18 April 2017, Braamfontein. Picture: Arrive Alive.

JOHANNESBURG - Police have opened a case of arson and will be investigating what led to Tuesday afternoon’s fire at the Braamfontein office park in Johannesburg.

The police’s Kay Makhubela says Johannesburg emergency services’ inspectors and firefighters will hand over the scene to the SAPS once they’ve wrapped up their own sweeps.

“Emergency services are busy conducting their preliminary investigations. Forensic people from the police’s side will come and continue with the investigation.”

Firefighters are conducting final mop-ups at the Braampark complex.

The blaze was contained in central Johannesburg, but teams are monitoring the scene to prevent any further flare-ups.

Paramedics treated two people for smoke inhalation but no serious injuries were reported.

John Vicente from emergency services says they’ve prioritised some hotspots.

“The roof collapsed, the fire is out but there’s a lot of hotspots underneath the tower. The heat is not escaping so nicely because there are electric cables going down. So the fire is spreading downwards.”

He says they will be handing over the scene to police investigators as soon they’re done.

Firefighters say they’re now worried about the structural integrity of the building, which was used by First National Bank.

Emergency services’ Synock Matobako says they are investigating.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)