Three Byo fire fighters injured, fire tender burnt
Bulawayo (New Ziana)-Three Bulawayo City Council fire officers were injured while trying to douse a fire which had started along Sterlin drive in Burnside at the weekend.
On the city’s few fire tenders was also lost in the unfortunate incident, which came at a time its rescue service department is facing a myriad of challenges, chief among them brain drain and lack of modern equipment to respond to emergencies.
The injured officers were rushed to hospital where some were treated for burns and discharged.
The rescue department is currently relying on the services of trainees and a few donated equipment.
Town clerk Christopher Dube confirmed the incident, saying the fire brigade were attending to a grass fire call which is reported to have started from Burnside Road opposite Criterion Waterworks.
“One of the fire tenders from City of Bulawayo was burnt down during a grass fire call which was reported and attended to by the fire brigade. On arrival, the Fire Brigade found the grass fire threatening houses near Munda drive, Sparrow Lakeway and then finally to Sterling drive.
“With the aid of wind, the fire is reported to have ravaged northwards spreading a 3 km radius covering part of Munda drive up to Sterling drive in Burnside low density suburbs,” he said.
Dube said the fire brigade controlled the grass fire that was spreading towards properties on Munda Drive but due to windy weather, the fire crossed to Sparrow Lakeway and finally towards a property on Sterling drive in Burnside.
“The fire teams noted that the windy weather was very strong resulting in the haphazard spreading of the fire and the grass fire covered a wide area close to 3 kilometres,” he said.
“The area covered by the grass fire prompted the officers to sectorise the scene into three sections for close monitoring. While one of the teams was attending on Sterling drive, the fire tender caught fire and, in the process, injuring three officers with burns. The suspected cause of fire was carelessly discarded material. The injured officers were rushed to hospital where some were treated and discharged.”
He paid tribute to the firefighters for their continued selfless service as they save lives and protect properties in the city.
“City of Bulawayo would like to wish a speedy recovery to the injured fire fighters. We continue to appreciate their continued selfless act of service as they save lives and protect the properties of the residents of Bulawayo,” he said.
In an interview with New Ziana recently, acting chief fire officer Linos Phiri said exodus of qualified personnel and lack of modern equipment such as fire tenders was affecting the rescue service department operations.