SCHOOL authorities and students at Hartzell High School are still to come to terms with the mysterious fire which razed their school head's house last week, destroying property worth over $60,000.

When news reporters visited the school, the headmaster, Mr Shorwi Kawadza, had travelled to Harare on an undisclosed mission and the station chairman,

Reverend Doctor Nyasha Chimbunde, said mystery surrounded the fire incident.

"We are still at a loss for words concerning the fire which destroyed the school head's house because nothing was recovered. We, however, thank God that no one was injured.

"Mystery surrounds it because one of the guards, Clifford Kamba, was on duty when the fire broke out. We still have not interrogated him to find out what he has to say concerning the incident because the school head said when the fire started he was not there, only to find him when efforts were being made to put the fire out," said Mr Chimbunde.

"The headmaster told us that the fire started at around 3am. He had gone to his office at around midnight to finish off his work. When he went back home he used the entrance from his garage into his bedroom. Just as he was about to sleep, he heard popping sounds, but he ignored them thinking that they were not coming from his house.

"When he heard the sounds for the second time, he decided to check what was going on. That is when he found the whole house ablaze. He managed to bring his family out before raising alarm. They finally managed to quench the fire, but unfortunately nothing was recovered. The house was quite old and the wooden floors made it very difficult to control the fire," he added.

Rev Dr Chimbunde said they had since forked out $1 000 towards buying of new clothes and other basic necessities for the school head and his family.

"The school authorities are doing the best they can to ensure that help is extended to the headmaster and his family. So far, $1 000 has been given to the family specifically for clothes and other basic necessities. The church and other individuals have also assisted the family in cash and kind," he said.

Rev Chimbunde dismissed claims that school children were being ordered to donate $1 each towards the head's plight.

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