The 5-story building had been abandoned; a nighttime fire resulted in more than 70 deaths.
Pope Francis noted the tragic fire in the center of the South African capital, which resulted in more than 70 deaths.
At the end of the general audience of September 6, he urged the faithful to pray for them.
With great sorrow I have learned of the fire that broke out in a five-storey building in the center of Johannesburg, South Africa, killing more than 70 people, including a number of children. I ask you to join me in praying for the unfortunate victims.
To their families I express my deep condolences, and I send a special Blessing to them and to all those working to provide assistance and support.
There were approximately 200 families living in the abandoned building, paying rent to illegal “owners,” according to Associated Press.