According to Delphene Feldman, who runs a pre-school in the hall, the majority of the children had not arrived at the centre when the fire started and only a few were inside the building with her, Roodepoort Record reported.
“We don’t know what happened or how the fire started. We just saw the mattresses burning. That’s when I evacuated the few children … before the fire became out of control. We got everyone out of the building in time and nobody was hurt,” she said.
Roodepoort firefighters responded to the scene and extinguished the fire before assessing the damage.
“We are not sure what started the fire but we will be investigating it thoroughly,” said the firefighters’ spokesperson, Nana Radebe.
Zamikhaya Nqoko, one of the security assistants at the crèche which accommodates almost 60 children, said the fire moved rapidly throughout the hall.
“I was in the kitchen when the fire started and I was immediately called to help evacuate the children. I suspect the cause of the fire was a gas canister that exploded but I’m not too sure,” he said.
This after three pupils died and 23 others were injured when a fire broke out at a school for the deaf in North West province early today.
North West police said the fire started on the first floor of the girl’s hostel at about 1am.
“Three girls aged 16, 17, and 18 died. Twenty-three were injured when they jumped from the first to the ground floor escaping the fire,” said police spokesperson Major Pelonomi Makau.
She said the 23 injured were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation and treatment of other injuries they sustained from jumping to the ground.
A computer room also caught fire and 22 computers were damaged, as well as a number of laptops.
The cause of the fire is unknown. An inquest is being held.
– Caxton News Service