DISASTER: Household property destroyed as police residential flat catches fire

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A FIRE broke out at police residential flat in the Bulawayo city centre yesterday destroying household property.

Investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing but tenants said they suspected an electrical fault.

No one was injured.

Police residential flat at corner JMN Nkomo Street and 9th Avenue on fire yesterday

The 13-floor residential flat, called African Life Building, popularly known as Southampton House is situated at the corner of Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street and 9th Avenue.

Scores of people were taking videos and pictures of the burning building while the Fire Brigade battled to contain the fire on the 13-floor.

Firefighters accessed the building through a fire escape in an alley.

They pulled fire hoses to the top floor using a rope and managed to put out the fire after an hour.

The inferno was contained in the floor where it started and had only affected three apartments.

Police had cordoned off the road between Jason Moyo and Joshua Mqabuko Streets.

The Chronicle news crew arrived when Fire Brigade was preparing to put out the fire.

The residents at the block of flats appeared traumatised as they watched the fire spreading.

Some had escaped from the building in their morning gowns.

Business operators working on the ground floor took out their valuables and closed their shops.

Mr Eric Zhou who operates an internet café in the same building said everything happened fast and people were screaming.

“When the fire broke out it caused a blackout thereby affecting business,” he said.

The officer commanding Bulawayo province, Assistant Commissioner Patton Mbangwa said he did not have the full details regarding what transpired.

“I came to the scene and we called the fire brigade. We have many police officers who reside here so we do not know who was affected at the moment. We are waiting for the report from the Fire Brigade to determine the cause of the fire and what damage has been done,” said Comm Mbangwa.

— Chronicle


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