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Unity Village goes up in smoke

by Staff reporter
01 Sep 2018 at 08:54hrs | Views
PROPERTY worth more than $300 000 was destroyed when a huge fire gutted Bulawayo's biggest flea market, Unity Village.

The flea market, which is located at the corner of Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Street and 6th Avenue, saw about 37 stalls that were stocked with a variety of goods being destroyed by the fire which broke out at around 9PM on Thursday.

Some traders cried uncontrollably while others fainted as they arrived to the grim scene at the market yesterday morning. Traders said they lost their stock ranging from clothes, footware, cell phones and laptops.

Bulawayo Fire Brigade Senior Divisional officer Mr Edward Mpofu said preliminary indications point to an electrical fault as the cause of the fire. He said they were however, still investigating before making a final conclusion.

Mr Mpofu they were called at 9.44PM and arrived at the scene at 9.49PM. "When the brigade arrived about five minutes after receiving the first call for help, the fire was found well alight and involving about 37 stalls that were well stocked with a variety of goods.

"The brigade observed that the fire burnt with a lot of intensity as most of the structures were deformed. The electrical wiring was also severely affected. The circuit breaker supplying the affected area had three breakers that tripped," he said.

Mr Mpofu said the premises' security guards unsuccessfully used a fire extinguisher to deal with the fire before calling the Fire Brigade.

"Investigations reveal that the fire originated from any of stalls 11, 16 or 42 and that most likely as a result of an electrical gadget like a kettle left 'on' or due to an electrical fault," he said.

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Source - chronicle