Linen burnt in second fire at Steve Biko Academic Hospital

Latest blaze caused by patients’ discarded burning cigarette stumps

13 June 2022 - 13:41
By Isaac Mahlangu
A fire broke out at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital two weeks ago. Staff extinguished another blaze on Sunday.
Image: Supplied A fire broke out at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital two weeks ago. Staff extinguished another blaze on Sunday.

Several items of linen were burnt when another fire broke out at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Tshwane on Sunday evening.

This is the second fire at the hospital after a blaze two weeks ago affected temporary tent structures near the casualty area.

Gauteng health department spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the cause of the latest fire was due to “unidentified smoking patients who threw cigarette stumps on a ceiling”.

“Only a few linen items, with the value to be determined, were damaged,” Kekana said.

She said discarded burning cigarette stumps “touched the ward linen room lights, burning the steel shelves and linen.”

The fire started at about 6.15pm in a linen closet in a medical ward.

“The fire was quickly extinguished by staff. Patients were temporarily evacuated as a safety precaution because of smoke. By 8.15pm patients were returned to the ward after the City of Tshwane declared the site safe,” Kekana said.

She said all health services were available in the facility and were not affected by the fire.

Two weeks ago, a fire affected temporary structures at the hospital and was extinguished by hospital staff.

One corpse and 18 patients in separate temporary structures close to where the fire started had to be moved to other areas of the hospital as a safety precaution.

The cause of the first fire is yet to be established. The provincial health department is investigating.

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