Fire at Wilcocks building under control, student saved from third floor

A fire destroyed most of the roof and third floor of the Wilcocks Building on the Stellenbosch University main campus. No one was injured but a staff member and student were traumatized and treated for shock.

Wilcocks building on fire

Fire at Wilcocks building

The building housed the Departments of Psychology and History, the Postgraduate and International Office and the University Archives.

The cause of the fire which started around 15:00 is still unknown. Only a few staff members were in the building at the time.

Ms Theresa van Rooyen, a Psychology student working on her Masters Degree, was trapped on the third floor but was rescued by two university students. Mr Grant Leukes, an engineering student working at the Postgraduate and International Office and Mr Eric Saal, a PhD-student and teacher at the Simunye High School in Delft, managed to bring her to safety.

Local emergency services and Stellenbosch University’s Risk and Protection Services (USBD) were on the scene in minutes.

Members of the university’s management team have also been on the scene. The University’s Crisis Service is assisting the traumatized staff members.

An investigation team has been appointed and the university’s insurance company has already been on the scene to determine the extent of the damage. A 24-hour security service has been arranged to control entry to the building.