One-hundred-and-sixty-four students were evacuated, as well as two treated for burn wounds and smoke inhalation, after a fire broke out on the third floor of the Huis Ten Bosch residence at Stellenbosch University last night.

Flames broke out at the residence at roughly 7pm on Monday evening August 12, and were brought under control by 20.30pm after all students were accounted for.

The cause of the fire is not currently known, but due to smoke and water damage students could not return to Huis Ten Bosch, but alternative accommodation was provided in other residences.

“The University’s priority at the moment is the safety of our students and to guarantee alternative accommodation. The necessary counselling and support services are in place. Our Centre for Student Counselling and Development’s 24-hour crisis service, in collaboration with ER24, has been activated,” said the University’s Professor De Villiers.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

All Huis Ten Bosch residents on the Stellenbosch University campus have accommodation for the night after a fire broke out in the residence around 19:00 on Monday evening, 12 August 2019. The fire in the residence for women on the Stellenbosch University campus was brought under control by 20:30, and as far as could be determined, all residents have been brought to safety. One student was treated for burn wounds to her hands, and another was treated for smoke inhalation at the Stellenbosch hospital, but both students are doing well. The fire was reported around 19:00 on Monday evening, 12 August 2019. The cause of fire is currently unknown. Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Arnold Schoonwinkel, Vice-Rector: Learning and Teaching, and Prof Stan du Plessis, Chief Operating Officer were on the scene. The 164 students that were safely evacuated from the residence gathered at the Wilgenhof residence, where information was shared and where they were addressed by Prof De Villiers. The University’s priority at the moment is the safety of our students and to guarantee alternative accommodation. The necessary counselling and support services are in place. Our Centre for Student Counselling and Development’s 24-hour crisis service, in collaboration with ER24, has been activated and can be contacted on 010 205 3032. Thank you to all staff members, students and the greater Stellenbosch community who have been offering support and assistance. We are currently assessing the needs and will communicate further. Due to smoke and water damage students could not return to Huis Ten Bosch, but alternative accommodation was provided in other residences. Once the fire was under control and accommodation was secured for all the residents for the night, the University management convened a contingency committee in the Council Chamber in the Administration B building. • Arrangements are being made for academic support for all the residents. • ER24 will be on site throughout the night in the Monica recreational hall. • Security has been arranged at

A post shared by Student Affairs / Studentesake (@sustudentaffairs) on

Despite the incident that took place last night, the students from Huis ten Bosch rallied together and didn’t let the fire bring their spirit down.

It is alleged that the fire may have been caused by a heater “exploding” in one of the residence rooms, this was reported by Netwerk24. Further investigations will take place over the next few days to confirm the cause of the fire and ensure the safety of the University’s pupils.

Picture: Die Matie

Article written by

Aimee Pace

Aimee is an avid gamer, enthusiastic yogi and animal lover. Addicted to anime, coffee and plant-based meals. Current favourite pastimes include, sewing and learning Japanese.