VALUABLE equipment and documents including those of pending criminal files were burnt to ashes in a fire that reduced the Thaba Tseka local court to rubble on Friday night.
The cause of the fire outbreak is yet to be determined.
Seven rooms went up in red flames as court staff and bystanders watched helplessly.
They were even forced to step back to avoid personal harm after the inferno intensified as a result of the explosion of gas cylinders.
Only one room was saved through the efforts of some individuals who used water pipes to extinguish the fire and they salvaged equipment that included a 48 kg gas cylinder, file cabinets and a gas heater.
A guard who was on night duty reportedly sustained minor injuries and received treatment as an outpatient at the nearby Paray Hospital.
A police officer who attended the scene, said it was almost impossible to control the blaze without trained personnel and proper equipment.
He said they refrained from using water because they had been told during training that water was not always safe for use in fire outbreaks and it could even exacerbate the situation.–LENA