JOHANNESBURG - Three firefighters died and 13 others have been taken to Milpark Hospital for suspected smoke inhalation after a fire at the Bank of Lisbon building in Johannesburg.
Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC Jacob Mamabolo has confirmed that three firefighters have died.
The MEC called for calm and asked people not to speculate on the causes of the fire until an investigation is conducted.
"At this point, we are not aware of what were the causes of the fire and the City of Johannesburg, working with ourselves, will conduct an investigation into what caused the fire," he said.
"I would like to appeal to everybody that we do not speculate as to the cause of the fire. We mustn't be tempted to try to find what could have been the cause if we do not have facts presented to us by qualified people."
It has since emerged the building only complied with occupational health and safety regulations up to 21 percent.
A member of Gauteng's Legislature, Joe Mpisi, says the Human Settlement MEC must answer why a government building caught fire.
"We can't subject workers to buildings to such as this one. You'll remember we recently we had at the premier’s office having to experience the same problem, but fortunately, no one passed on," said Mpisi.
"Most of the damage was done on the upper floor. We are calling on the Gauteng government to urgently seek alternative accommodation where workers can work better.
"One life is too many. We can't accept that."