Firefighters Battle Blaze Engulfing Parliament

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Firefighters battling a fire at the Parliament building in Cape Town on Sunday called for backup as the blaze stubbornly continued to burn.

The fire started early Sunday morning and firefighters responded within minutes.

The City Fire and Rescue Services said they received the call at 05:03 am of a building alight in Parliament Avenue.

Roeland Street Fire was first on scene and with the assessment of the fire more resources were called.

“We currently have six firefighting appliances and approximately 36 firefighters on scene,” said the City Fire and Rescue Services.

Roeland Street, Sea Point, Salt River, Brooklyn, Goodwood, Milnerton firefighting crews on scene.

“We have two Fire Safety Officers are on scene as well,” said the City Fire and Rescue Services

“Fire is currently on the 3rd floor – initial reports indicate it started in the office space and is spreading toward the gymnasium. The roof area has caught alight and the National Assembly building is on fire too.

“The fire has not been contained and reports of cracks in some walls of the building have been confirmed.”

More firefighters have been called in to assist.

Jean-Pierre (JP) Smith Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security said by mid-morning about 60 firefighters were battling the blaze with specialised equipment.

The cause of the fire has not yet been established.

Last year in March a fire broke out in the same Parliament buildings, but it was not nearly as large as the one that was continuing to burn on Sunday.

The buildings consist of three main sections – the original building, completed more than 100 years ago in 1884, and additions constructed in the 1920s and 1980s.

The newer addition houses the National Assembly, while the original building houses the National Council of Provinces.