On Sunday, firefighters fought a large fire at South Africa’s Parliamentary complex.
This blasted a dark column of flames and smoke into the air, just above the city of Cape Town, and forced some of the building’s roofs to fall.
The Fire Destroyed Everything
According to Minister of Public Works and Development Patricia de Lille, the fire was started on the third floor of an old office complex. It moved to the National Assembly building, where South Africa’s Parliament presently meets.
De Lille told journalists on the scene, “The fire is currently in the National Assembly rooms. This is a really sad day for the system because Parliament is our democracy’s home.”
— News24 (@News24) January 2, 2022
No injuries were recorded, according to Jermaine Carelse, a spokesperson for the city of Cape Town Emergency services Department. The legislature was shut for vacations.
Carelse said security guards first noticed the fire at 6 a.m., and 35 firemen responded. On a crane, some of them were lifted into the skyline of Cape Town to pour water on the fire from above.
Firefighters Continue to Battle the Blase
According to De Lille, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was updated on the fire; it was too early to predict the reason. Authorities were checking video camera footage, she added.
The sprinkler system was turned off before the fire started. South Africa’s HAWKs (FBI) have taken over the investigation and a 51-year-old man has been arrested.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and a number of other senior South African leaders were in Cape Town on Saturday for Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s memorial. This was held in the city’s St. George’s Cathedral, approximately a block from the Parliament precinct.
The Burning of parliament, explosion at Medupi, July Insurrection, the Ransomware, the Transnet IT sabotage, the Spillage of Acid at Ballito, the Burning of Kidney Dyalisis Hosp etc. Are not Coincidences. This is a Fight, We must defend Our country.#PutSouthAficansFirst pic.twitter.com/VuMEeKC4cg
— @LAWYER-JOE (@lawyerPTSA1st) January 2, 2022
The complex is divided into three portions: the original Parliament building, which was finished in the late 1800s, and two modern sections, which were constructed in the 20th century.
De Lille told journalists in front of the Parliament complex gates that the fire started in the old Parliament House, which is located behind the National Assembly.
She declared firemen “had the thing under control” during the presentation; however, the fire quickly spread and tore through the present Parliament building.
Officials feared the heat would force other parts of the precinct’s structures to collapse and historical items inside would be damaged or destroyed. The beautiful white Pairlament building was burned to the ground, and smoke blew from its roof.
“The roof’s bitumen is even bubbling, indicating extreme heat. Some walls have been reported to have fissures, which could signal a collapse,” Carelse told the News24 website.
The facility was sealed off and roads were closed by police. People put flowers and other memorials to Tutu near some of the blocked-off places.
Last year, a massive wildfire on the slopes of Cape Town’s famous Table Mountain spread to nearby buildings, destroying a portion of the University of Cape Town’s historic library.