More floors lost to fire at parliament, but blaze now contained

Flames and smoke rise over a roof of the National Assembly building as the fire at the parliament flared up again, in Cape Town, January 3, 2022.
Flames and smoke rise over a roof of the National Assembly building as the fire at the parliament flared up again, in Cape Town, January 3, 2022.
Image: SUMAYA HISHAM/Reuters

The fire flare-up that engulfed the roof of the National Assembly building on Monday afternoon has now been contained.

The fight against the fire continued to midnight.

Sunday’s fire reignited on Monday, propelled by solid south-easterly winds and necessitated the deployment of heavy-duty aerial firefighting appliances to reinforce the existing capacity, parliament said in a statement.

“The firefighters applied a courageous and brave fighting spirit in their fight for hours last night and were able to put down the fire by midnight. Reduction in the speed with which the wind blew assisted a great deal and placed the firefighters at an advantageous position to extinguish the fire.”

Further damage has been caused, with more floors of the building, which house offices of MPs and support staff, being completely gutted.

The roof of the building around where the flare-up occurred is now completely destroyed.

Six of the ten fire trucks are still on the scene but are expected to be withdrawn during the course of the morning.

“With the fire now contained, it is anticipated that the work by the multidisciplinary team of engineers, which arrived at parliament yesterday to conduct an assessment and establish the scale of the damage, among others, will proceed.”

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