Cause of Universitas house fire unknown

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The cause of the house fire in Universitas is unknown. Photo: Zenande Mpame

Fifty thousand litres of water were used to extinguish a house fire in Stegmann Street, Universitas, Bloemfontein, when the house caught fire on Monday (24/6).

The fire started at 09:30 with the owner, his son, and the domestic worker inside. They weren’t injured, and no casualties were reported.

It is alleged students who were passing by saw smoke coming out of the roof of the house and tried to alert the owners by pressing on the gate bell and also shouting to draw their attention.

“We were not aware of the fire as we were cleaning inside and we could hear people screaming from the gate. I thought they were looking for my son but they told me the house was burning and that is when I saw the smoke coming from the back of the house,” said homeowner Sekhothe Polelo.

“I noticed that the house was burning at around 09:30 to 09:45. I called my son who was in another bedroom close to the one on fire, he was also not aware of the fire and then we swiftly vacated the house.”

“We were able to take out the cars that were in the garage, but we weren’t able to save a lot of things as the fire was fast, and before we knew it the roof fell inside. It is a mystery to us what started the fire but it could have started where the geyser is,” he said.

The fire started on the roof at the back. Picture: Zenande Mpame

The owner mentioned to OFM News the house was on sale and he had an appointment with the new owners of the home for a viewing today (24/6) but when they got there the street was full of fire trucks and the home was on fire.

“The new owner was devastated when he saw the house on fire he even dropped a few tears as he liked the house.”

The Mangaung Fire and Rescue unit received a call from neighbours at 09:56 and arrived at the scene within six minutes.

Police, firefighters, and fire trucks were on the scene. Picture: Zenande Mpame

Three fire engines and twelve firefighters were dispatched to the scene and 50,000 litres of water was utilised to bring the fire under control.

“When we arrived on the scene the roof of the house had already collapsed and it was a intense fire. The fire was managed after an hour and no injuries were reported to us,” said Manguang Fire and Rescue Fire Chief Braam van Zyl.

It is alleged that the fire started in these rooms. Picture: Zenande Mpame

The main concern for me was to get everyone out of the house as fast as possible because the fire was on the roof. “We have lost everything in the fire,” said Polelo.

OFM News/Zenande Mpame