By Precious Maphosa and Judith Phiri
A doctor was injured while property worth thousands of dollars was destroyed yesterday when Mpilo Central Hospital doctors’ quarters in Bulawayo was gutted by fire.
Officials said they were still to ascertain the cause of the fire and the actual value of goods that were destroyed. Mpilo Central Hospital director of operations Mr Joel Charangwa said the fire started at about 2pm.
“The incident occurred around 2pm, we were informed by one of the bar attendants who was on the ground floor within the building when she suddenly started choking and went out only to be alarmed by the flames on the first floor. When the Fire Brigade crew arrived on the scene the whole first floor was already in flames but they managed to save the lower building. One of our junior doctors sustained injuries while trying to jump out of the building, we are grateful that no life was lost,” said Mr Charangwa.
The doctor, Dr Mpiloenhle Sibanda (29) who sustained a cut on his left leg, a bruise on the elbow of his right hand and a fracture on the right waist side, said he was sleeping when he suddenly started to inhale smoke.
“I was in my room which was at the far end of the block when I started inhaling smoke. I ran to the corridor where there was too much smoke which was now choking me, that’s when I decided to go back into the room and jump out of the window,” he said.
The Minister of Provincial Affairs for Bulawayo, Cde Judith Ncube who rushed to the hospital said the incident was saddening as it came at a time when the Government was trying to solve the issue of accommodation for doctors.
“This is terrible when we are actually looking for more accommodation, we are short of accommodation to cater for them, the incident is heart breaking as we ask God what is happening to us as Bulawayo, we need to come up as a team and work together in solving such issues, she said.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Cde Raj Modi who also went to the scene said he was relieved that at least no life was lost and no one was seriously injured. Sunday News.