Arson suspected in apartment blaze

Peak hour traffic was affected by road closures in central Pretoria yesterday due to a fire in a block of flats on Prinsloo Street, Tshwane Metro police said.

Peak hour traffic was affected by road closures in central Pretoria yesterday due to a fire in a block of flats on Prinsloo Street, Tshwane Metro police said.

Emergency workers were busy on the scene for about an hour in the afternoon and roads were closed for the full peak hour traffic period.

Traffic going out of Pretoria towards Johannesburg was affected and motorists were advised to use alternative routes.

Metro police closed Prinsloo Street from the Visagie Street corner to beyond Minnaar Street early yesterday after the fire broke out at Kinoulle Mansions.

The cause of the fire was still unknown by late yesterday, but police spokesman Inspector Paul Ramaloko said they were investigating a case of arson.

Emergency workers said the fire started in flat number 54 before 1pm.

It then apparently spread rapidly, engulfing seven other nearby units.

Spokesman Johan Pieterse estimated that the damage caused by the fire could run into millions.

Sixty people were evacuated from the building by emergency workers but no injuries were reported, he said.

The fire had been put out after about two hours on Tuesday afternoon. It had spread onto the roof of the building from the east to the west side.

Emergency workers had five vehicles on the scene, with firefighters inside the building trying to contain the fire. - Sapa

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