By Blessings Chidakwa
Property and woodwork machinery worth millions of dollars were on Monday night destroyed by fire at Glen View Area 8 Home Industry Complex along Willowvale Road in Harare.
This was the fourth time this year alone that fire gutted the complex.
Generators, compressors, chairs, beds, kitchen cupboards, lounge suites, tables and wardrobes were among the items destroyed.
The cause of the fire had not been established yesterday, with traders giving different explanations ranging from an electrical fault to suspected foul play.
Some said the place was “haunted” because of the high frequency of the mysterious fires.
A trader whose property was destroyed, Mr Clifford Mapfumo, pleaded for the erection of better structures as the current ones were exposing them to fire outbreaks.
“The challenge here is that it is now a pattern that each year there is a fire. Sometimes, the cause of the fire has been human error and this time around, we believe it was an electrical fault.
“We use highly flammable substances here like thinners and glue and people have resorted to compressors and generators that use petrol. Whenever there is a fire, it is hard to control.
“Vanishes used in making furniture are highly flammable and our shades are below standard as they were erected using plastics and cardboard boxes,” he said.
Mr Misa Shuro said a number of the traders lost all their machines.
“It is suspected that there was an electrical fault, but l think cigarette smokers had a hand in the fire. Everything on my stand including our display stands and wardrobes were destroyed,” he said.
Mr Eddison Mazambani said “We are counting our losses. We don’t know how best we can be assisted on issues of fire outbreaks because each year we experience them three to five times.
“We lost room dividers, kitchen units, beds and wardrobes. I think only one sofa was recovered,” he said.
Mr Issah Chapepa said he suspected foul play.
“There might be something happening behind the scenes. l lost sofas, wardrobes and TV stands,” he said.
The Harare City Council recently appealed to Government to help in restoring order at the complex. The Herald