Occupants ‘have no choice’ but to move back into burnt JHB building

But the Johannesburg Emergency Services say it may not be safe as the structure may be compromised.

Johannesburg firefighters on the scene of the fire in Nugget Street, Johannesburg. Picture: Hitekani Magwedze/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Occupants of the hijacked building in Johannesburg that caught fire say they have nowhere else to go but back into the building once fire officials leave.

However, the Johannesburg Emergency Services say it may not be safe as the structure may be compromised.

The building on the corner of Jeppe and Nugget streets caught fire on Wednesday morning, claiming the lives of seven people.

Survivors of the fire say they climbed out of the windows to escape the blaze.

One resident says she’s grateful to be alive.

“I thank God because I’m alive and I feel pain for those who died.”

She says she lost everything in the fire.

“I stay here because I don’t have money to pay rent anywhere else. All my blankets, clothes, identity document and important stuff are gone.”

The building’s occupants have been standing behind police tape, watching officials remove the bodies of those who died in the fire.

Meanwhile, Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has called on the judiciary to help him to make sure hijacked buildings are evacuated so that they can be refurbished.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)