Johannesburg’s deadly building blaze spreads

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A fire in a high-rise building in the centre of South Africa’s main city, Johannesburg, is continuing to burn a day after it started and could be spreading, local media are reporting.

Johannesburg Emergency Services spokesperson Nana Radebe told 702 Talk Radio early Thursday morning that the fire had spread from the top floors to the 16th floor and that firefighters had left the building because the “water pressure was low”.

She said firefighting efforts would resume later in the morning.

Three firefighters died on Wednesday trying to put out the blaze.

One firefighter fell to his death while battling the blaze, while the other two were found inside the building.

Thirteen people who worked in the building were admitted to hospital, officials said.

The wife of one of those who died has shared pictures of her husband and children saying: “Today I lost my husband, my best friend, father to my children. I love u so much”.

A fundraising campaign has been launched to help pay for her children’s education.

The fire broke out on the 23rd floor of the building in downtown Johannesburg, and was apparently caused by an electrical fault, the local News24 website reported.

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