Six mobile classrooms were set alight and the seventh one vandalised in the absence of scholars in Thabotona Primary School Tsietsi informal settlement in Katlehong on Monday, October 19.
Disaster and Emergency Management Services firefighters from Zonkizizwe fire station received the alert for the burning portable classrooms in the morning hours.
According to the information on scene, members of the school governing body (SGB) and the parents are demanding brick and mortar structures to be erected unlike mobile classrooms that are currently being used by learners. This spurred some community members to take the law into their own hands and set the container classrooms alight.
The current structure of the school is made up of the temporary classrooms that have been in place since the old building have dilapidated.
“On arrival of firefighters, six classrooms were already engulfed and destroyed by flames, some of school furniture, tables and chairs were found burning outside the classrooms as well. Preventative fire suppression was initiated stopping the flames from spreading to the entire classrooms and administration block.”
“The arrival of more firefighting resources from Hlahatsi and Wadeville fire stations respectively, proved to be handy in minimizing the damage,” explained the City’s emergency spokesperson William Ntladi.
No casualties were reported on scene from both firefighters and some of the school staff present at the time of the incident.
Police on scene have opened an inquest docket and are investigating the matter.
“Considering the classrooms congestion, the damage was reduced drastically. Water had to be shuttled to the areas with fire water tankers from the fire station in Zonkizizwe,” said Ntadi.