15 Vehicles Awaiting Service Destroyed By Fire
A reported 15 vehicles were destroyed by fire at Top Gear Panel Beaters, a garage in Marondera town’s industrial sites, on Thursday night.
The vehicles were awaiting service and repairs and were parked inside the building when the fire, whose cause is yet to be ascertained, broke out.
The Herald reported sources as saying the Marondera fire brigade could not attend to the fire as its single fire tender was away for service.
A fire engine was despatched from Harare but by the time it arrived at the scene of the fire, the garage and the cars within it had been destroyed.
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) deputy spokesperson in Mashonaland East Province Assistant Inspector Misheck Denhere could not give the the exact number of vehicles destroyed.
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However, sources close to investigations said more than 15 vehicles were destroyed in the inferno.
One of the residents of Marondera, Ralph Chimanikire, said the fire incident was tragic, adding that the Marondera Municipality needs to be capacitated. He said:
We are pained by this tragedy which has affected this young entrepreneur who was working here.
I am one of his clients. The unfortunate part is they could not get help to extinguish this fire. It is very unfortunate.
Something has to be done by Marondera Municipality so that they become proactive and react to issues like this one.
We are so worried; a lot of vehicles have been destroyed. If only assistance had come in time, some vehicles were going to be saved.
A witness, Cecilia Chiwara, who lives near the garage, told The Herald that alerted the fire brigade about the fire and was told that they did not have equipment to assist. She said:
I first saw some smoke in the building and I immediately called the owner of the garage and told him about the fire.
I then rushed to the fire and ambulance site which is about 100 metres from the garage, and they told me that they did not have any vehicle to use.
I then called Harare’s fire department and they responded and by the time they got here, the fire had already destroyed all the vehicles in the building.
Marondera Municipality public relations officer Kudakwashe Tapfumaneyi released a statement on 01 September following the fire incident. It reads:
The Municipality of Marondera would like to inform Marondera residents and stakeholders that there was a fire outbreak at the Top Gear Panel Beaters in the industrial area last night.
The fire damaged cars and other property that was within the garage. The Council fire tender was out on routine service and could not be used to respond to the accident.
However, Council enlisted the assistance of the Harare City emergency services who managed to attend to the accident.
Council is liaising with the Police and other authorities to try to determine the cause of the fire outbreak. Details of the cause of the outbreak will be released to the public once investigations are concluded.
Marondera Municipality is expecting to receive a new fire tender from the new fleet of fire tenders that were recently commissioned by His Excellency the President, D. ED Mnangagwa following their procurement from Belarus.
The new fire tender will be a good addition to our emergency vehicle fleet which currently only has one fire tender.
Council would like to express its heartfelt sympathy to all those who lost their property due to the fire incident.
Residents and stakeholders are encouraged to remain calm while authorities carry out the necessary investigations.