The City of Cape Town (COCT) has released a fire report which discloses that Parliament was not compliant with several fire safety regulations.
According to the COCT, the post-incident report prepared by the City’s Fire Department on the fire that engulfed Parliament on Sunday, January 2.
Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis said in a statement the COCT release these findings publicly without any additional comment.
“It reflects the observations of professionals but does not in any way constitute or substitute for a full forensic investigation conducted by professional fire investigators,” Hill-Lewis said.
In the report, Station Commander JJ Williams said: “During my walk around of the affected areas I found that the National Assembly sprinkler valve was not serviced since 2017 and this needs to be done every three years. The valve also appeared to be closed.
“If properly serviced, this valve should have been locked with a chain in an open position and a block plan would have been available showing system layout. Lifts continued to operate despite a “break glass” unit at one lift being activated. Fire doors were locked in an open position using latches. Roof smoke vents did activate at the National Assembly.”
Divisional Commander Wayne Visser also mentioned in the report that the sprinkler control valve set on the southern façade of the Old Assembly building had not been activated.
“It is unclear which apportion of the building was actually fitted out with sprinklers. The required layout-block plan at the valve set was illegible. Fire detection and an alarm were present yet uncertain of the extent of the system, as extensive damage had occurred. General fire informational signage was well presented although some non-SABS signs were found.
“A major contributing factor to the excessive heat and smoke encountered throughout the building was the open-latching of fire doors onto the fire escape staircases using small metal latches,” Visser explained in the report.
In the meantime, the COCT has already sent the report to the Speaker of Parliament as the investigation continues. The public can also access the report via the COCT’s website.
Picture: Facebook/JP Smith