Gauteng MEC for Health and Social Development, Ntombi Mekgwe and Ekurhuleni Executive Mayor Mondli Gungubele have made an earnest appeal to the public to lend a helping hand to the Struisbult care centre, which was gutted by fire. The fire in one of the centre’s buildings started in the early hours of Monday morning, leaving 12 residents dead. The centre, which is home to 155 residents, has three main buildings and only one – which housed 39 elderly female residents – was affected by the fire.
During the incident, 27 residents were rescued and transported to surrounding hospitals for treatment for burn injuries, smoke inhalation and shock. Of the 27 injured, 19 were taken to the Pholosong Hospital in Tsakane while the remaining eight were taken to Far East Rand Hospital in Springs.
“Of the 19, 18 have been discharged. One is still at Pholosong hospital receiving treatment for pneumonia; 26 residents have already been discharged after receiving treatment for smoke inhalation and shock. They have now been transferred to Zanele Mbeki Home (former Tienie Foster) in Dunnottar,” said Ekurhuleni Municipal spokesperson Zweli Dlamini.
Counselling services are being offered to the survivors, their families and the families of the deceased, including the staff at Struisbult care centre. A call has been made to civil bodies, NGOs and the private sector for donations of blankets, bedding including sheets, towels, pillow cases and bed covers, clothing, slippers, toiletry, and non perishable food items, which are urgently needed.
Interested parties who want to send donations can contact Bongani Ngomane of the Gauteng Department of Health and Social Development on 082 460 3608. Mekgwe and Gungubele have established a high level joint operation centre with politicians and senior government officials, chaired by member of the provincial legislature Lindiwe Lasindwa, to look into the incident and coordinate relief efforts. The extent of damage at the centre is still being assessed.
A BuaNews report