University of Fort Hare Building Gutted By Fire

A building at the University of Fort Hare was up in flames on Sunday. The University has said that heavy damage was done, but only to the building.

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A University of Fort Hare building was up in flames this weekend with the University saying ''The impact of this fire will be huge".

The top floor of the Economics building located on the Eastern side of the Alice campus was gutted by fire. No one is said to have been in the building during the fire.

Luckily, due to Covid and the lack of students and staff on campus the impact on teaching and learning is small and no injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is unknown and will be investigated by the Fire Department.

According to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Sakhela Buhlungu who was on site with the Registrar, Mr Njabulo Zuma, it took security officers, maintenance personnel and other staff members about two hours to put out the blaze.

Buhlungu said:

Using fire hydrants, the staff on site were able to elevate themselves with hoisters that were left by Dewing Construction and managed to douse the fire. By the time firefighters from the Fort Beaufort Fire Department arrived, the blaze had already been put out.

Inside the building, one would normally find offices, lecture venues and a computer laboratory. Now, you will find a caved in roof, damaged laptops and equipment and heavily burned surroundings.

A statement released said that some of the laptops and computers that were inside were carried-out before the blaze spiraled out of control.

Ironically, the fire broke out while university management was in the middle of engaging the Health and Safety Department on tightening safety measures on campus buildings. This, the VC says, must now be accelerated.

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