Over Rwf50 million worth of property were destroyed yesterday when a fire broke out in a building that housed several shops in Muhima, a suburb of Kigali.
It started as a small fire from one corner of a shop before a watchman informed the owners to call the fire brigade.
The complex, which housed four business entities and offices, was not razed entirely as the police (fire brigade) arrived a few minutes later and put out the fire.
When The New Times visited the scene, Police had already secured the area and managed to contain the fire which had been accelerated by tyres in the shops and other inflammables.
According to Leonidas Bakundukize, the owner of the building, by 6am, the fire brigade had started to put out the fire allowing people to save some items.
“It is a tragedy for me and my tenants because, yes the fire was dealt with, but some of the goods were burnt to ashes, Luckily, the house was insured,” he said.
The owner explained that the next step will involve processing of declarations with the insurer.
However, while the landlord had insured his house, some Pakistani tenants had not insured their goods, as explained by Muhammad Kazzim, one of the tenants.
“This was one of our retail shops, where we sell tiles, tires, foodstuff like biscuits, spaghettis, among others, because some of our warehouses are in other parts of the city,” he said.
Kazzim told this paper that he had been doing business in the same premises for the past four years and that his shop had fire safety equipment but could not be used when the fire broke-out.
“From now onwards, we shall ensure our products are insured to avoid losses in the future should such a tragedy occur again,” he added.
Also caught up in the fire was the office of Kabeza cell, whose Executive Secretary, Ignace Kabasha, assured that services won’t be affected since they have gotten alternative offices near Rugenge Police station.
Commenting on the incident, Police Spokesperson Theos Badege commended the quick intervention by the police fire brigade unit, workers of Rwanda Energy Group (REG) and residents that led to quickly containing the fire.
Badege further explained that preliminary investigations indicated that the fire was caused by electric short-circuit, which might be due to poor wiring.