Suspicious Fire Guts down US$100,000 of Gideon Gono's property in Borrowdale Harare

 A suspicious FIRE gutted a warehouse at Reserve of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono’s poultry plot in Borrowdale, Harare yesterday, destroying goods valued at over US$100 000.
The warehouse which housed delicate hatchery equipment caught fire in the morning and concerted efforts by the Fire Brigade and workers helped in putting out the fire before it reached fuel tanks about 30 metres away.
The cause of the fire, which took the Fire Brigade more than two hours to extinguish, was unknown although it was suspected workers in the warehouse might have started it accidentally.
Compressors for hatcheries that were awaiting installation were destroyed together with other valuables stored in the warehouse.
The fire began at about 9.30 am and was put out by 12.30pm. Gono and his family were said to be away from their house when the fire started.

Witnesses say the Fire Brigade came to the scene with inadequate water that failed to contain the inferno.
The Fire Brigade has come under fire of late for failing to respond timeously to distress calls and for being ill-equipped.
Workers at the plot and neighbours battled to quell it and the Fire Brigade then ended up using water from the plot’s dam.
ZimDaily has it on good authority that the most reliable fire truck at the Harare Fire Station was bought in 1973.

In an interview, Gono bemoaned council’s poor and old fire equipment urging the corporate world to assist in procuring more effective and new equipment to avoid further losses.
“From the information I got, the equipment they brought here was the latest one and it was acquired in the early 1970s.
“If we do not do something about our city fire brigade, we will always have problems. Fortunately we have a dam here and they had to connect their pipes from the dam after they ran out of water,” he said.
He added: “If council is failing to improve the situation, I urge the corporate world to chip in and assist the municipality in procuring the relevant equipment to improve the capacity to manage fire accidents.
“I am appealing to Harare stakeholders such as the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe and the residents associations to do something to capacitate Harare Fire Brigade. There is no point in sending gallant fire fighters on such dangerous missions without appropriate resources and equipment.”
Gono warned the public against speculating saying that the fire incident at his farm was purely an accident.
“Out of mischief, there are some people who are good at speculating whenever there is a fire incident. As for this particular incident, it was just an accident although I do not know how and who started it,” he said.
His security personnel were detained at Borrowdale Police Station as of last night, helping police with investigations.
Workers gave different versions on the cause of fire with some linking it to a heater. It is suspected a child placed a jersey on the heater before it caught fire.
But others indicate that there was no heater in that room leaving the actual cause unknown. Gono hailed police at Borrowdale Police Station and other stakeholders for swiftly reacting to the accident.
A team of about 50 people helped put out the fire and Gono commended them for rushing to the scene with buckets to salvage the situation.

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