Damage caused by fire sprinklers ‘a nightmare’

Fire sprinklers at the Joseph Stone Auditorium caused extensive damage to the building, and it will take some time for it to be fixed.

The Joseph Stone Auditorium’s fire sprinklers – set off by a small fire on Sunday September 8 – have caused extensive damage and the repairs could take “a long time” to complete.

Shafiek Rajap, director of the Eoan Group School of Performing Arts, said someone had phoned him while he had been on his way to work on Monday September 9 to inform him of the flooding.

The Eoan Group owns the Joseph Stone Auditorium, on the corner of Protea Street and Klipfontein Road.

The water had damaged most of their costumes and the studio floors. The stage would need to be lifted, as it was flooded underneath. Water had also seeped through the concrete, Mr Rajap said.

“The amount of damage caused is just a nightmare. We suspect it happened on Sunday afternoon (September 8). There is a church who use our premises, and it was locked up by Sunday afternoon. A hole burnt in the back door, and this set off the sprinklers. The sprinklers were then running until Monday morning, and all those hours the sprinklers were on led to the flooding. The water caused a lot of damage,” Mr Rajap said.

The Joseph Stone has building insurance, but Mr Rajap is worried it could take a while before repairs are done.

“We have already had to postpone four shows. The church also sent me a message to ask if their church services can continue. We have to lift the whole stage. Our woodwork and electric cables have also been damaged. At the moment, we are between a rock and a hard place. “It worries me that we have already had to cancel some shows. We are also now forced to have dance classes in the foyer. It is going to take a long time to fix,” Mr Rajap said.

He refused to speculate about the cause of the fire.

The fire department did not respond to the fire, because by the time staff became aware of it, the sprinklers had already contained the fire, Mr Rajap said.

Police are investigating.

If you can assist, contact the Eoan Group at 021 637 1268.