WATCH: Toddlers rescued from burning building in Durban CBD
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ETHEKWINI Fire attended to a fire at the United building in the Durban CBD earlier this afternoon.
Residents living nearby reported that they saw smoke coming from the building.
The building is home to Heavenly Kings Creche.
Creche principal Ruth Kurwaifimba said she realised a part of the building was on fire at around 2pm when she could smell smoke.
She said she immediately grabbed the children – about 10 toddlers – and ran toward the lifts.
“There were people running all around us but no one was stopping to help me with the children. There was no way I was going to leave my children behind,” she said while paramedics treated her.
Kurwaifimba said she managed to get all the children into the lift but it “jammed”.
“The door was a little open so I pulled it apart and told all the children to get out of the lift.
“Thankfully we were on a floor that was not badly affected by the smoke and we just waited there until help came,” Kurwaifimba said.
Thandeka Nkuna is the mother of a 3-year-old boy who was in Kurwaifimba’s creche at the time of the fire.
Nkuna said she was working from her flat not far away and when she was alerted to the fire, she ran to the building.
“I am so grateful they are all safe. The paramedics checked all the children and they are okay,” she said.
The cause of the fire remains unknown.