Goods worth thousands of dollars were reduced to ashes when fire torched two grocery shops at the busy Rusape Bus Terminus last night.
The inferno, which was suspected to have been caused by an electric fault that coincided with power being restored following load shedding that started around 4am, begun in an eatery and spread into the next shop run by a local school headmaster.
Spirited efforts to put out the flames using hand fire extinguishers and water buckets were fruitless as the fire ravaged the adjacent shops.
A firefighting crew was summoned from Mutare and arrived two hours later when the damage had already been inflicted.
The team was barricaded from accessing the scene by an angry mob that felt their belated presence was not of any use.
Rusape Town Council fire tender was said to be down, much to the chagrin of onlookers who felt that the damage could have been minimised if the fire crew had attended the scene on time.
— Manica Post