Fire destroys Gweru lodge

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Gweru (New Ziana) -Property worth thousands of dollars was reduced to ashes on Wednesday at Elephant Lodge along Gweru-Mvuma road after a raging fire encroached into its fence and burnt nine thatched buildings.

Gweru Chief Fire Officer Felix Muguti said although they had responded promptly, the fire fighters were overwhelmed by the fire as they were dealing with thatched buildings.

He said they later managed to control the fire but nine thatched buildings had already been destroyed by fire and managed to save five.

“Nine buildings have been destroyed and we saved five,” he said.

Muguti said they called Josiah Tungamirayi Air Force Base fire brigade to back them as a contingency measure but they arrived late due to logistical challenges.

Muguti dismissed accusations by the public that they had done a shoddy job resulting in more damage to property.

“That is their slogan. You cannot go to war without a gun and bullets. Our fire tenders are small managing to carry 1 000 litres each and so when dealing with thatched buildings you cannot do much.

“We always have water but the 1 000 litres is too little compared to the fire we were dealing with,” he said.

Muguti said investigations revealed that the fire came from outside the Elephant Lodge premises and spread inside.

A witness said the fire had originated from one of the neighbour’s places which is about a kilometre away where they were burning some rubbish dump.

“The fire spread into the veld and we tried to put it out using tree leaves but we failed. More people came when buildings started burning after realizing that it was getting out of hand,” he said.

The witness said the fire started around 11am in the morning and was only put out around 4pm.
New Ziana

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