Kampala. Traders in downtown Kampala were on Monday thrown into panic after fire gutted a building housing Jaguar Guest House and several shops on Nakivubo Road.
The raging fire destroyed seven of the guest house rooms and the rooftop. According to Mr Moses Mugisha, the manager of the guest house, the fire that started at around midday was as a result of a short circuit in one of the stores on the building’s third floor.
Most traders had not returned from the Easter holidays but a crowd quickly formed following the news of the fire. Police were quick to respond and the fire was put out before it spread to neigbouring buildings or other floors.
There were no injuries or deaths recorded. Mr Mugisha said there was a client booked in one of the burnt rooms but he was notified in time and escaped unhurt.
Police could not readily estimate how much was lost in the fire in terms of property. Uganda police fire Brigade director, Mr Joseph Mugisa, said they responded immediately to the call and were able to restrict the fire to its origin before extinguishing it.
“We made a rapid and massive response with seven firefighting trucks, including two highly specialised ones,” Mr Mugisa said.
There has been a spate of fires in the city with the most recent having claimed six lives and billions of shillings worth of property at Crest Foam factory in Ntinda. This followed another fire that gutted Aristoc Bookshop on Kampla Road.
Recently, the opposition Forum for Democratic Change tasked police to release reports on city fires especially the March 16, 2010 Kasubi Tombs fire, the April 14, 2008 Budo Junior School fire and the Owino market fires.
Other fires in the past
June 30, 2013. More than 42 people were burnt to death when a fuel tanker exploded in Namungoona, a Kampala suburb, after being hit by a car.
September 18, 2012: 14 people were burnt to death when a bus crashed and burst into flames in Lwengo District.
April, 14, 2008: 20 school girls were burnt to death after a dormitory at Budo Junior School caught fire.
August 2006: 27 passengers died when their minibus collided with a fuel tanker on the Kampala-Jinja road, 3km from Lugazi Town.
July 30, 2006: 30 people were killed when a fuel tanker collided with a minibus at Kitega hill on Kampala-Jinja Road.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor