Arson experts to probe SAPS flats blaze
A 35-year-old policeman from Durban Central flying squad and his wife have suffered severe burns in a fire which broke out in the area SAPS building yesterday.
The officer sustained 90percent burns and is in a critical condition in a local hospital.
The fire broke out on the 13th floor of the building yesterday morning.
Hundreds of police officers and their families were evacuated from the residence.
A police helicopter was used to airlift the severely burnt policeman and his wife from the top of the building.
Their two children suffered smoke inhalation and were also admitted to hospital.
Firefighters, ambulance staff and police search and rescue units fought to contain the fire. The cause of the fire is unknown.
It is the second time a police building has caught fire.
Last month, several floors of a building housing detectives were gutted when the Sea Board Hotel caught fire, leaving hundreds of students with no place to stay.
Police spokesman, Superintendent Muzi Mngomezulu said yesterday's fire started at about 7.15am.
"We believe the 35-year-old sergeant, his wife and their two sons, aged five and seven, were in their flat when the fire started.
"The sergeant was off duty and asleep when the fire started," said Mngomezulu.
He said the fire started in the lounge, but smoke spread throughout the three-bedroomed flat. The children ran into the spare bedroom for safety.
"The seriously injured sergeant and his wife were airlifted to the nearby hospital in critical but stable condition. Their children were admitted to the same hospital, where they were treated for smoke inhalation.
"The cause of the fire is still unknown and several arson experts have been summoned from Pretoria to investigate," Mngomezulu said.