By Michell Zvanyanya
Property worth ZWL$30 000 was reduced to ashes after a house was gutted by fire in Bulawayo’s Lobengula West suburb.
The incident occurred at around 9PM on Tuesday.
It is suspected that the fire was caused by a candle which was not put out after everyone had fallen asleep. The Bulawayo Fire Brigade suspects that the fire started in the bedroom where children were sleeping and spread to the other rooms.
Senior Divisional Fire Officer, Mr Edward Mpofu, said when they arrived at the scene, the sitting room had already been destroyed, with the fire spreading to other rooms. “I confirm receiving a call at around 9PM and rushed to the scene. When the fire-fighters arrived at the scene, they found the entire house engulfed in smoke.
“The call came late as the sitting room was already collapsing at the time of arrival. This was a nine roomed house which was already partially destroyed at the time of arrival,” he said.
Mr Mpofu said most of the rooms were damaged and some of the windows were shattered by heat.
He estimated that the damaged property was worth $30 000. Mr Mpofu warned the public against leaving lit candles when they retire to bed.
A 13-year-old asthmatic girl who was affected by smoke was the only one ferried to Mpilo Central Hospital. The rest of the family members escaped unharmed. When The Chronicle arrived at the scene, the damage was evident as the walls were covered in soot while the ceiling had been completely destroyed. Heaps of burnt property was inside and outside the house.
In an interview, the family representative, Ms Juliat Kabungaidze, said all the children’s school uniforms and stationery were destroyed.
She said they suspect the fire may have been deliberately started.The Chronicle