Fire brigade 33km away as blaze guts Kadoma complex; police urge caution amid public concern over devastating unexplained fires

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By Staff Reporter

THREE shops were destroyed after a blaze gutted a shopping complex in Kadoma Tuesday night in the latest of a spate of devastating fire incidents across the country.

The first major incident was a bus explosion in West Nicholson which left 32 people dead, most of them burnt beyond recognition.

At the weekend, fire broke out and razed a residential apartment at Bulawayo’s Mpilo Hospital, destroying property worth thousands of dollars.

Monday afternoon saw the home industry area in Harare’s Glen View suburb engulfed by an inferno which destroyed two thirds of the complex.

An unexplained fire also razed a grocery shop in Chivi

Several people were said to have been injured with property destroyed thought to be worth millions of dollars.

Another fire hit a shopping complex in Kadoma housing the Edgars, Jet and Coloursel retail shops Tuesday evening.

By the time the Fire Brigade arrived from Chegutu – some 33km away – nothing could be recovered.

“The fire started from Jet shop before quickly spreading to both Edgars and Coloursel,” said an employee with one of the retailers.

A grocer’s shop also went up in smoke at Nyamakwe business centre in Chivi district, Masvingo province.

Back in Harare another fire broke out at Siyaso SMEs complex in Magaba, destroying six cars and an automotive complex.

“All six vehicles were destroyed,” said Harare city council spokesman Michael Chideme. “The Fire Brigade contained the fire. The fire did not affect Siyaso as it happened several metres away from the complex. One of the dealers is believed to be a 12-year-old who ran away after starting the fire.

“Fire danger rating is so high this season, so we urge people not to use things that may cause fire such as smoking and throwing away the stubs and any other things that may cause fire.”

Police have urged caution in the wake of the increasing spate of fires.

Said ZRP spokesperson Charity Charamba; “Members of the public must exercise caution in storing flammable liquids, such as gasoline, paint, thinners and cleaning agents.

“Their vapours can explode or ignite if they get too hot or are exposed to static electricity. Be sure they are capped securely and keep them away from heat sources.

“Cooking fires must be put off after use and ensure all electric gadgets are switched off when not in use.

“Regular checks should be conducted on electric wires in business and residential premises. Where possible Zesa officials should be engaged to ensure electrical fittings are safe.”