Disaster as massive fire burns down house, property worth $800 000 destroyed

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FIRE razed down a seven-roomed house in Rusape and destroyed property worth $800 000 last Saturday night.

No one was injured as the house was unoccupied when the inferno started just before midnight. The fire started at the backyard and spread quickly, thereby causing extensive damage to Number 3172, Magamba Extension.

The gutted property belongs to Ms Nomore Arumbu (34), a local informal trader — whose wares were also destroyed by the inferno.

Following the destruction of the family’s furniture, blankets, clothes, kitchen utensils, and food, among other valuables, the family is appealing for financial and material donations.

Shattered window pens, metal shrapnel, timber pieces, electric wires, refrigerator shells, fallen bricks and ashes were part of the debris inside and outside the building’s shell.

In an interview, Ms Arumbu expressed her shock.

“I was in Dorowa when I received the shocking news that my house was on fire. It was more shocking to get home to see hordes of people still struggling to put out the fire. I am really hurt, l don’t even know how to proceed from here,” said Ms Arumbu.

She suspects the inferno was an act of arson.

“I don’t think it was a normal fire. In fact I have a suspect. Strange things were happening before the fire,”

However, when pressed to shed more light on the allegations, Ms Arumbu said she would only do so when she gets over the shock.

The Manica Post established that black smoke emanating through the roof was first noticed by neighbours who rushed to investigate, only to discover that the fire had already spread into the entire house.

“The fire was really vicious and nothing was rescued. However, there had been suspicious movements at the house, thereby raising suspicion that the fire could have been deliberately started by someone,” said an unidentified neighbour.

Residents applauded Rusape Town Council’s fire department for its quick response.

“The local authority’s safety and disaster response was prompt and helped to stop the fire from spreading to neighbouring houses,” said a man only identified as Baba Tino.

Rusape District police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Muzondiwa Clean said separate reports had been made to the police and the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution and Transmission Company (ZEDTC).

Investigations are in progress to establish the cause of the inferno.

“The exact cause of fire is not yet known and we are still investigating. The owner of the house was not around when the incident occurred. Preliminary investigations show that property worth at least $800 000 was destroyed in the inferno,” said Assistant Inspector Clean.

He urged residents to turn off wall plugs before leaving their properties.

“People must also desist from keeping inflammables in their houses,” said Assistant Inspector Clean.

— Manica Post


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