OVER 100 quarantined deportees and returnees from Botswana yesterday escaped death by a whisker after fire gutted Plumtree High School’s Beit Hall where they were housed, reducing it to a shell.
The fire, suspected to have emanated from an electrical fault, reportedly started mid-morning and raged for hours after the Plumtree Fire Brigade failed to contain the inferno.
Council chairperson Fanisani Dube, whose ward hosts Plumtree High School, confirmed the inferno.
“It is true there was a fire at Plumtree High School’s Beit Hall. It destroyed the whole building, reducing it to a shell. The fire is suspected to be as a result of an electrical fault,” Dube said.
A source close to the incident said the deportees and returnees escaped unhurt.
“We could be talking of a disaster if the fire started at the night when the inmates were asleep. We are happy that there are no casualties. Only property was destroyed,” he said.
This is the second inferno in less than two years after another fire destroyed the school’s monumental two-storey dormitory, Lloyd House in 2018 during school holidays.
Plumtree Fire Brigade battled the fire for four hours without success and had to summon the Bulawayo Fire Brigade which arrived when the dormitory was already a shell.