Two sporadic fire incidents broke out on different floors of Addington Hospital on Thursday, and were fortunately contained before they could cause any serious damage to hospital infrastructure, except for smoke residue on the walls.

In what is believed to be acts of arson, the first fire broke out on the seventh floor around 7:30 in the morning and the second fire, on the 10th floor around 2:30 in the afternoon. Both fires appear to have happened in a similar fashion, which raises a high suspicion of classifying them as related acts of sabotage.

The fires occurred in fire escape routes where piles of plastics full with garbage kept were for collection next to the lifts. On both floors, the fires were contained by security personnel and other hospital staff members. There were no casualties as a result of the fire or smoke, nor were normal hospital operations disrupted.

KZN Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo visited Addington Hospital on Thursday to assess what had happened. He expressed a deep sense of shock and dismay over what he found.

“There is something amiss here and a suspicion of an act of sabotage is not far-fetched. Both fires occurred on the fire escape routes in a similar fashion. A case of arson has been opened at Point Police Station and we want the perpetrators to be arrested for gambling with people’s lives, and compromising patient safety. On the other hand the Department will also make means to improve security at Addington and other hospitals,” said MEC Dhlomo.

The Department is doing its utmost to ensure that the provision of healthcare services for patients who need critical care continues in a safe environment.