Fire victim appeals for help House which was gutted by fire in beitbridge

Chronicle Writer

A FAMILY from Beitbridge is appealing for donations, including food, clothes, furniture and blankets after a house that they were renting in the border town was gutted by a fire that reduced their property worth over US$2 000 to ashes.

The victim, Mr Phumudzo Mudau said they only managed to salvage couches, a refrigerator, and a stove during the devastating inferno which occurred on Sunday at around 8am.

“As a family, we lost a bulk of our belongings ranging from food, clothes, furniture, and laptops to academic certificates, identity particulars, and birth certificates. I was preparing to go to work when the house went up in flames,” he said.

“We only managed to remove the stove, refrigerator, and couches, and the rest of the property was burnt. We are appealing for help in the form of clothes, food and furniture.”

Mr Mudau said they suspected that the fire might have been ignited by faulty wiring.

“The fire started from one of the rooms that we share we another tenant. I suspect that the fire might have been ignited by faulty wiring, a Zesa power line connecting the house to the main line outside had been producing some sparks for some days before the incident occurred,” he said.

When a Chronicle news crew arrived at the scene minutes after the incident, charred remains of a bed, wardrobes, laptops, blankets, and other valuable items told the sorry tale.

Mr Mudau said valuable documents, which include passports, national identity documents, and academic and birth certificates were also burnt.

He said when the Beitbridge Municipality firefighters arrived at the scene, they didn’t have enough water in their fire tender.

“What is shocking is that firefighters came with a fire engine which didn’t have enough water. They went back to look for water and by the time they returned all the property was in ashes,” said Mr Mudau.

Beitbridge town clerk Mr Loud Ramakgapola admitted that on that particular day, his team slept on duty.

“We had two firefighters on duty on that particular day instead of four. To worsen the situation, they took a small fire engine which has a water holding capacity of 1 000 litres of water which was not enough,” he said.

This incident was the first since the operationalisation of a new fire station, which is a component of the US$300 million Beitbridge Border Post upgrade and modernisation project, a partnership between Government and ZimBorders Consortium.

Beitbridge Senator Tambudzani Mohadi, who was among the first people to arrive at the scene, said when the fire engine arrived, there was no trained fireman to attend to the fire.

“When the fire engine arrived it was driven by the town treasurer who is not a trained firefighter. How then do you expect such a person to do the work that he is not trained for? Firefighters should always be on standby to protect lives and people’s properties,” she said.

Experts said the tragic mishap serves as a reminder of the importance of regular maintenance and safety measures in homes.

As Zesa campaigns for safer electrical systems, the story of the Mudau family highlights the urgency of ensuring the wiring in houses is up-to-date and secure.

Well-wishers can get contact Ms Almah Mudau on +263 77 277 4582

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