UCT| We only took textbooks and laptops and fled, students cries after fire

University of Cape Town student scribes that they only took their textbooks and laptops and fled.


The past Sunday was supposed to be one of the days that student were preparing for their week, catching up on their studies. One student shared a sad story when the fire broke out.




I just heard helicopters outside, but I thought it was nothing. Around 9am I started smelling the smoke from my room.but I didn’t think it would spread to the campus and this far. So I closed my window, because the smell became overwhelming, and continued working.” said Elizabeth Pretorius. 

For things for Elizabeth to see this is serious, they were alerted on WhatsApp group that the residence kn the upper campus were evacuating. For Elizabeth’s side the message will later be sent if it is needed for them to leave.



Elizabeth said again they received emails from the university explaining that they had 15 to 20 mintures to vacate the premises. While student were busy preparing to vacate they then heard alarm going off and intercom announcing.

I grabbed a bag and packed in my laptop because I was thinking of all the assignments I still had to do. I grabbed my student card, matric certificate, study notes, a file with all my personal information, a bottle of water, pain medication, my phone and charger.

Sad news that Elizabeth thought it will pass and they would go back in about 5 hours later at most. Elizabeth is one of the fire Marshalls at the school  before she could leave she had to make sure everyone has vacated the campus.



Other students were half-naked, others were in pyjamas while others didn’t have shoes on. When people started to run around with luggages around campus stressed, Elizabeth explains that she became stressed too when she thought she left all her clothes in her room. She says she only had spaghetti top, a Jean and shoes she was wearing.

Some did manage to take what they need but didn’t take the furniture because it was smokey and dangerous. 

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