RUSIZI - A commercial building that housed two major general merchandise shops in Kamembe town, Rusizi District, caught fire on Sunday, turning property worth millions into ashes.
The fire started at around1:00 p.m., and went on for more than three hours before the fire brigade arrived to put it out.
The electricity and water utility, RECO/RASCO, said the fire was caused by a short circuit which they say was later aided by some of the inflammable items in the shops, like mattresses.
“A short circuit that occurs within the building is usually dangerous,” said Theodosius Karinganire, an electric engineer.
The owner of the building, Hamedi Abdallartif, said everything was fine until Sunday afternoon when he got the dreadful phone call that it was burning. Electric problems were not common, he said.
Eugene Ntampfurayishyari and Aminadab Mbonyimana are the tenants who suffered the great loss.
Ntampfurayishari said the loss was severe and his shop wasn’t insured.
“It’s unbelievable what I have worked for in my lifetime to be destroyed in just a matter of hours. It’s to start from zero now,” he lamented, revealing that his loss was estimated at Rwf80 million.
Both shops dealt in plastic items like basins, mattresses as well as foodstuff. The authorities promised to look for ways of helping the people who suffered the losses.
“I don’t know yet, but we shall meet and improvise ways to help,” said Viateur Nduwayo, the Executive Secretary, Kamembe Sector.