Wednesday 2 November 2022


A family from Bulawayo’s Bellevue suburb is living in a church after a fire triggered by a gas stove, destroyed their house. 
The fire broke out on Monday morning.

A bed from the main bedroom, a wardrobe full of the family’s clothes, school uniforms, important documents, television sets and a set of sofas among other valuables were lost in the fire.

The damage is estimated at over $9 million.

The fire is suspected to have been caused by a gas stove that was left unattended by a maid who was cooking.

When a Chronicle news crew arrived at the house yesterday, the owner of the house, Mr Roy Kangai was in the company of his church mates from the AFM church.

Mr Kangai said he was devastated by the ordeal that had befallen his family.

He said during the time the fire broke out, there was only the maid who was running some errands outside.

“I was not at home at the time the fire broke out. I was in Maphisa and my wife had gone to work and taken all the children to school. I was shocked when I received a call informing me that the house was on fire,” said Mr Kangai.

A neighbour who first noticed a thick cloud of smoke thought it was someone burning litter, but it got worse and that is when he ran to the house to investigate.

When he arrived, the fire had already burnt most of the property and he called the police who notified the fire brigade.

Mr Kangai said the community has donated basic commodities and the family is now staying at the local AFM church.

He appealed to members of the public to help them renovate the roof of the house.

“We are thankful to the AFM church that has offered us accommodation since the incident of the fire.

We also appeal to members of the public to help us renovate our roof as it was the most damaged, and also considering that our stay at the church is temporary,” said Mr Kangai.

He said anyone who might want to help him and his family can get in touch with them on +263772984428.

In a statement, Bulawayo acting chief fire officer Mr Linos Phiri said when the fire brigade arrived, the fire had spread throughout the ceiling.

“The fire was first reported by Mr Nyathi, a neighbour, to the Officer in Charge ZRP Donnington at 0830 hours. ZRP Donnington then phoned the Fire Brigade at 0900 hours, about thirty minutes from the initial call.

A lady who resides at the house talks about the extent of damage left by the fire

“When the fire brigade arrived, the fire had spread throughout the ceiling, the entire house was engulfed by smoke and there was a gas stove and cylinder recovered in one of the rooms where fire is suspected to have originated. Fire spread patterns were clearly visible from the room of fire origin into other rooms,” he said.

Mr Phiri urged members of the public to always make sure their gas stoves are monitored when using them. Chronicle


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