Firefighters extinguishing the blaze at the department of Housing and Health building in Joburg. Picture: Dimpho Maja/African News Agency (ANA)
ONE of the experienced firefighters in the City of Tshwane had to be rushed to hospital after he was badly affected by smoke inhalation while battling the devastating blaze in Joburg last week.

The Bank of Lisbon building, which houses the provincial Health, Human Settlements and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs departments caught fire last Wednesday.

The 56-year-old firefighter was dispatched to the scene as part of a team of 12 emergency services personnel after the City was asked for assistance.

MMC for Community Safety Anniruth Kissoonduth said the affected employee was not injured, but was weakened after he inhaled dangerous smoke from the burning building.

“He is one of our experienced firefighters in the City. He was admitted at Milpark Hospital, but has since returned home. He is okay. There was nothing serious that happened to him except the smoke inhalation,” he said.

The City had positively responded to the call to assist by sending two teams of firemen, each with six members.

Kissoonduth said the disastrous incident was not the biggest test to his emergency team; there had been worse cases in the past.

“We are always ready to help and once the call came we immediately got on the road. And the end-result is that we were jointly with other teams of firefighters able to put out the fire,” he said.

Despite that he was yet to receive a full report detailing the contribution of his emergency team to disaster management, he expressed satisfaction at the hard work displayed at the scene.