Update | Student loses belongings in Pietermaritzburg CBD blaze

Sihle Nzimande lost all his belongings in Friday’s fire in the CBD.

Sihle Nzimande lost all his belongings in Friday’s fire in the CBD.

Moeketsi Mamane

Student Sihle Nzimande’s heart sank when he received a call on Friday to tell him that the building in which he was a tenant had caught fire.

Going about his day as he usually does, Nzimande was in the CBD at the time of the fire and raced home only to find his room had burned in the fire.

Situated on Hoosen Haffajee Street, the building which houses various tenants and a tuckshop caught fire on the first floor and resulted in three bedrooms being damaged before firemen arrived on the scene.

“My laptop, my clothes, everything that I own is gone including my documents and certificates.”

Student Sihle Nzimande

“When I got there and saw the building I just knew. My heart broke as I watched the firefighters try to douse the fire knowing that my room was definitely one of the rooms that had been burned,” said a distraught Nzimande.

“My laptop, my clothes, everything that I own is gone including my documents and certificates,” he said.

Nzimande said he was told that the fire started because a stove was left on and forgotten, which another resident confirmed as well.

“We managed to save half of the top of the building due to a firewall that was in the premises.”

Fire station commander David Chilliba

Firemen could be seen in and around the building working tirelessly to ensure the fire was completely out.

Fire station commander David Chilliba told Weekend Witness that they saw the double storey building engulfed in flames on the top floor and immediately sprang into action to save what they could. “We managed to save half of the top of the building due to a firewall that was in the premises. The fire was contained to the top of the house and only three bedrooms were burned while the bottom floor did not sustain any damage from the fire,” said Chilliba.

Chilliba confirmed no one was injured with everyone in the building managing to evacuate. He added that more damage could have been spared were it not for a faulty fire hydrant nearby forcing the firemen to use a fire hydrant further down the street.

Questions over why the fire hydrant was not working were directed to municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha, who had not responded at the time of going to press.

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