Pretoria high school fire incident probed

The cause of the fire which ravaged part of the Hoërskool Wonderboom, located in Pretoria, was yet to be established, the Tshwane emergency services department said on Friday.

“The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing,” the department’s deputy chief for fire and rescue operations Refiloe Phantshang said.

A block at the school was engulfed in flames on Thursday afternoon.

“The roof collapsed completely,” Phantshang said, adding that the block where the fire occurred was used for hospitality studies and the storage of uniforms.

READ MORE: Naptosa also calls for schools to be closed after Motshekga cancels meeting

Firefighters putting out the fires at the school. Image: Supplied.

The blocks surrounding the one which was consumed by flames, however, were saved and no injuries were recorded.

He said three of fire stations were activated to extinguish the blaze.

“We received the call around 3.30pm and managed to extinguish it by around 5.30pm,” Phantshang said.

The school has expressed appreciation for the calls it received and the concern showed by the community during the blaze.

The pressure to close schools as the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa gains momentum has been mounting, and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) supports children going back to school.

In the statement released on Wednesday, the commission said it supported Unicef’s position that pupils return to schools as soon as possible because “evidence points to harm being done to children by not being in school”.

ALSO READ: School year not ‘lost’, redesign system to make up for lost time – experts

The commission said its position to support children going back to school was based on, among other factors, the fact that by the end of July, depending on the grade pupils were in, children would have lost between 20% and 50% of scheduled school days because of the pandemic.

It also considered the social, economic and health costs of school closures during the three highest levels of lockdown, including increases in hunger and malnutrition.

This article first appeared on Rekord North and was republished with permission.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

Source link