NINE cars were burnt to shells following an explosion at a vehicle workshop in the early hours of yesterday in Bulawayo’s Thorngrove suburb.
Police suspect foul play and investigations are underway.
The incident occurred at around 1AM at PJ Motoring Services and Spares Centre that specialises in servicing Mercedes Benz and BMW vehicles.
Bulawayo Chief Fire Officer Mr Richard Peterson said they were yet to determine the cause of the fire.
He said the fire brigade received a report at 0142hrs and they arrived at the scene at 0159hrs.
“Upon arrival, we found nine cars on fire at the workshop. We are investigating the actual cause of the fire,” said Mr Peterson.
Bulawayo deputy police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said an employee at a nearby company reported the incident to both the fire brigade and the police.
The employee also tried to contact the workshop owner, but he was not reachable.
“We are investigating an incident where there was an explosion at a motoring services and spares centre in Thorngrove suburb. The incident occurred in the early hours of today (yesterday).
“An employee at one of the premises in that area heard the explosion and saw a fire emanating from the mentioned place. Nine vehicles were burnt completely,” he said.
When The Chronicle visited the workshop yesterday, an employee, Mr Enock Kambubi, said they suspect that some people whom they evicted over failure to settle rentals were behind the incident.
“My boss informed me that he had received a phone call from police saying the premises had been gutted by fire. Our neighbours had tried to call him earlier but he missed their phone calls as he was asleep.
“We are still wondering who could have started the fire but we have potential suspects whom we can’t name here as this may jeopardise investigations,” said Mr Kambubi.