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Students evacuated after building fire relocated to military camp in Pretoria

The fire broke out on Wednesday morning and three firefighters died trying to douse the flames.

A firefighting crew assess the damage to a building in the Johannesburg CBD on 6 Septemer 2018. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Students evacuated from a residence opposite the Lisbon Building fire in downtown Johannesburg will now spend the night at a military camp in Pretoria.

The fire broke out on Wednesday morning and three firefighters died trying to douse the flames.

The students were also asked to vacate the adjacent building due to fears of smoke inhalation.

They have gathered at Beyers Naude Square from where they will be transported to Pretoria.

Some students, who reside in the opposite building, say they are still traumatised after seeing a firefighter fall to his death from the 23rd floor on Wednesday.

A student says she is glad that they are being relocated.

“They say it’s not safe because, from my building on the 11th floor, you can inhale the smoke from the building.”

Despite smoke still billowing from the building, officials say the fire has been extinguished and they will continue to monitor the building.

It was finally contained late on Thursday afternoon, but emergency teams are working to ensure it doesn't re-ignite.

VIDEO: 3 firefighters die in Johannesburg CBD fire

Firefighters say they will not be taking any chances and will only leave when the smoke has cleared.

The 7th and 8th floors, which did not catch fire, are being sprayed with water as a precaution.

Meanwhile, smoke can be seen coming from some of the upper floors.

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has remained on site along with other government officials.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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