Malaba’s Special Building Gutted By Fire
While police were busy chasing after vendors and money dealers outside Tredgold Building on the instructions of Chief Justice Luke Malaba, personnel operating in Government departments housed there scurried for cover following a fire outbreak at one of the offices due to an electrical fault.
The incident, attracted the attention of members of the public who starred in amusement and did not bother rushing in to help, occurred shortly after 1PM.
Property worth $2 000 was destroyed at one of the oldest trademark buildings in the city located which houses the Bulawayo Labour Court, Provincial and Regional courts, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Surveyor-General’s Office, Deeds Registry, Department of Social Welfare, Umguza District Administrator’s Office, the National Economic Conduct Inspectorate (NECI) and Umguza District Development Fund (DDF).
Chief Justice Luke Malaba last week ordered vendors to be moved away from operating around the building which he described as a special place. He claimed the vendors compromised the importance of the building and were disrupting court proceedings with their noises.
A court interpreter who declined to be named said: “I was busy having lunch in my office with my colleague when I saw billows of smoke pouring out of one of the offices. In a split second, I picked my handbag and stormed out of the building.”
Another court official said fear and panic gripped him when he noticed a cloud of smoke in the corridor.
“I was on my way out of the building to buy lunch when I saw smoke all over the building and I panicked as I thought the entire building was on fire,” he said.
Bulawayo Chief Fire Officer, Mr Richard Peterson, said the fire emanated from a water heater.
“The fire was caused by a water heater, which was being used to boil water in a plastic container. The water boiled until it all evaporated resulting in the water heater igniting the container and subsequently causing fire,” he said.
Mr Peterson said property worth $2 000 which included a photocopier was destroyed and property worth $10 million was at risk.
He said no deaths or injuries were recorded.
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