Wednesday 8 August 2018


FIVE people were yesterday injured while property worth thousands of dollars was reduced to ashes after their house was gutted by fire in Bulawayo’s Paddonhurst suburb.

It is suspected that the fire may have been caused by a gas heater because the gas tank’s knob was open.

The Bulawayo Fire Brigade suspects that the fire started in the sitting room and spread to the kitchen.
Bulawayo chief fire officer Mr Richard Peterson said five people have been admitted to United Bulawayo Hospitals.

Two were injured while escaping from the house and three others had complications related to inhaling a lot of smoke. Mr Peterson said they received a call about the fire at around 2AM.
“Investigations into the cause of the fire are still underway although we suspect that a gas heater may have been the cause because its knob was found on. We’re suspecting that the gas heater was left on throughout the night and something happened resulting in the outbreak of the fire,” he said.

Mr Peterson warned the public against leaving gadgets such as heaters and stoves on when people retire to bed.
“It is fortunate that no lives were lost in this incident, hence, we continue to urge people to cross check both gas and electrical appliances before they retire to bed. People should never be tempted to sleep with heaters on as this is very risky. Sadly, this family has lost entirely everything to fire but we are grateful that no life was lost,” he said.

When The Chronicle news crew arrived at the scene, the fire brigade had already put out the fire.
The roof was almost collapsing.

Neighbours said the owners of the house were away at the time of the incident; the woman was attending a funeral at her rural home and the husband was at work out of town. A neighbour said family members only noticed the fire when it got to their bedrooms upstairs and they became trapped.

Neighbours had to place mattresses outside the double storey house and ordered the occupants who included four minors below the ages of 12 and a female adult aged 30 to jump out of the house through the bathroom window which did not have burglar bars.
During the process, the aunt (30) was injured and one of the children was injured on both hands.

“We thank the Almighty for sparing these children’s lives, although they have lost all their property. It is, however, surprising how the house burnt down without any of the neighbours seeing the flames,” she said. Chronicle


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