Property destroyed as fire guts city building

Property worth millions of francs were destroyed when fire gutted part of a building in Kimihurura sector, Gasabo District, yesterday.
The smoke could be seen covering the house as police fire fighting brigade tried to put the fire off. (Jean d'Amour Mbonyinshuti)
The smoke could be seen covering the house as police fire fighting brigade tried to put the fire off. (Jean d'Amour Mbonyinshuti)

Property worth millions of francs were destroyed when fire gutted part of a building in Kimihurura sector, Gasabo District, yesterday.

The destroyed materials included computers, printers and other electronics.

The morning fire left all property in one store completely destroyed.

The affected building belongs to the former president Pasteur Bizimungu, who said the house is insured.

The affected part was a store of materials used by the International Fertiliser Centre (IFDC).

The house also hosts Ikirezi library but it was not affected, according to the Police.

Police said investigations to identify the real cause of the fire were ongoing but preliminary reports suggest the fire might have started off as a result of welding activities on the building.

“There are renovations going on, so it is suspected that the welding activities around might have ignited the fire. What we did first was to put out the fire but we are still investigating the cause as well as ascertaining the cost of the lost property,” said Superintendent Emmanuel Hitayezu, Police Spokesperson in the City of Kigali.

Hitayezu urged constructors to be more vigilant when using electric materials which can cause fire outbreak.

Constructors were also urged to look for high quality materials and employ competent people in power installations to avoid such incidents.

1470953985Some-of-police-fire-fighters--try-to-put-off-the-fire
Some of police fire fighters  try to put off the fire. (Jean d'Amour Mbonyinshuti)

John Veerkamp, IFDC country representative, said almost all the properties they had were damaged as the centre had closed its projects in the country and put its computers and other office materials in the same room.

The damaged property was estimated to be above Rwf500 million, according to the officials.

Bizimungu said that the house was insured and had some extinguishers and alarms which they tried to set off in vain before police intervened.

He said the whole building would have been gutted hadn’t it been for police intervention.

‘‘I am thankful to the Police for their timely intervention, they saved the day,’’ said the former president.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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