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Some firefighters living in 'unsafe' JHB building

Although all firefighting operations have been stopped at the Joburg Central Fire station, there are families still living there because they have nowhere to go.

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

JOHANNESBURG – Eyewitness News has learnt that some firefighters are still staying in the old Johannesburg Central Fire station in Marshalltown, despite the building being declared unsafe by the Department of Labour a year ago.

Although all firefighting operations have been stopped there, several families are still living in the flats because they have nowhere else to go.

Children’s voices echo through the dilapidated building; oblivious to the dangers they’re exposed to.

The walls and stairs have weakened because they’ve been dampened by leaking taps.

The children are exposed to wires and large cracks everywhere, while the pungent smell from raw sewage pouring out of blocked drains is hard to avoid.

But the 110-year-old two-storey building is home to many families, including firefighters employed by the City of Johannesburg.

Those who spoke to EWN said they paid rent of R1,500 every month.

But emergency services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi has defended the City for asking rent, saying it’s extremely cheap.

“You could say its nothing. You cannot even compare with the amount that is being charged out in other accommodation areas.”

Mulaudzi also said they were concerned about staff’s safety and were trying to arrange alternative accommodation.

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