efe-epaJohannesburg

A memorial service was held in Johannesburg on Wednesday for three firefighters who last week died during their efforts to tackle a blaze.

Simphiwe Maropane, Khathutshela Muedi and Mduduzi Ndlovu lost their lives as they worked to extinguish the flames of a fire that broke out on Sept. 5 on the 23rd floor of the Bank of Lisbon building that houses the Gauteng provincial health department.

"Memorial service underway at Standard Bank Arena, inner city. Honoring the fallen heroes," the City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services said in a tweet.

No civilians were killed in last Wednesday's deadly fire that left the building largely gutted, the epa-efe journalist said.

The City of Johannesburg said in a statement that efforts to put out the fire were hampered owing to "a lack of sufficient water pressure in the building," citing several government officials as having described the "unsafe conditions" of the offices.

Those who gathered to remember the trio took part in a wreath-laying ceremony outside the building where they lost their lives, paying tribute beside three crosses placed on the ground, as witnessed by an epa-efe correspondent.

Among the hundreds of people, including firefighters, who attended Wednesday's memorial service at Ellis Park Arena were Johannesburg's executive mayor, Herman Mashaba.

"Our firefighters in Johannesburg regularly have to face life-threatening situations, and continue to demonstrate their bravery in their efforts to keep our residents safe," the City of Johannesburg said in a statement.