13 September 2019
Emergency evacuations had to be carried out at the Mitchells Plain Day Hospital on Friday afternoon after a fire broke out. Many rooms were gutted, but no injuries were reported. A crane was used to lift firefighters onto the roof, which was burning.
The City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said the service was called at 12:45pm and the fire was under control by 2:30pm. “The quick reaction time of the fire crews resulted in the fire being contained to the theatre section of the hospital,” said Carelse.
Carelse confirmed that all patients and staff were safely evacuated. “It will take a considerable time to extinguish the fire and ensure that the area is safe.” The cause of the fire is still unknown.
Andrew Loots, a Mitchells Plain resident, said it seemed that something in the facility exploded. “The fire was quick to reach the roof. I think there was an explosion inside there. Firefighters were quick to arrive here, and I must say that I appreciate it because we could have lost the whole hospital. It is sad to see our hospital like this.”
Celia Degenaar, also a resident, said the fire will affect the community badly. “I do not see this hospital getting fixed anytime soon and the district hospital will carry the burden.”
Western Cape MEC for Health Dr. Nomafrench Mbombo said: “The Emergency Medical Services have transferred eight patients to the Mitchells Plain District Hospital unharmed. The Fire Department is investigating the cause of the fire. All Emergency and Maternity Unit staff on duty will be working at the Mitchells Plain District Hospital until services are operational at the facility. Patients will be informed once services are operational and are encouraged to utilise other healthcare centres in the interim.”
She also thanked those who helped control the fire.