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17 injured, property worth millions destroyed as fire guts Mbarara school dormitory

Part of the burnt boys' dormitory at Shuhada Islamic Secondary School in Mbarara City. PHOTO/ COURTESY

Mbarara, (UG):- At least 17 students sustained injuries and property worth millions of shillings burnt down to ashes after a fire incident that gutted the boy’s dormitory at Shuhadal Islamic Secondary School in Nyamitanga Cell, Mbarara City in the wee hours of Friday morning.

A total of 202 students were occupying the Dar es Salaam dormitory that houses Senior 2 and 3 students according to Mr Isaq Mugerwa Kafeero the headteacher.

Mr Kafeero narrates that the fire started at 4:30 am when students were preparing for morning prayers, adding that the fire destroyed books, mattresses, clothes, and other personal belongings of students.

One of the survivors, Imran Jebley said the fire started from the bed of one of their colleagues. 
“We then rushed out and called for rescue. It was about 5:30 am when the fire department came to our rescue. We don’t know the cause of the fire,” he said, adding that only one student sustained serious injuries and was admitted to the hospital.

Walusimbi Sudais, another student said; “The fire brigade came at 5 am and tried to put it out but everything was already destroyed. All our books were destroyed. We don’t know what we are going to do.”

Part of the burnt boys’ dormitory at Shuhada Islamic Secondary School in Mbarara City. PHOTO/ COURTESY

Samson Kasasira, the Rwizi Region Police Spokesperson says that the Police Fire and Rescue Services with assistance from the Nyamitanga Diocese Fire Brigade put out the fire, but it had already destroyed property.

Kasasira says the cause of the fire has not been established, but investigations into the incident are ongoing.

The Headteacher Mr Kafeero called upon well-wishers, the ministry in charge of disaster and preparedness, to come to their rescue.

“These learners have lost their items, school needs to reconstruct the dormitory to enable these learners to do their studying. Whatever can be donated will help us to restore what has been destroyed,” he said.

According to the National Building Review Board, 120 private and public schools were inspected last year, but none had a fire hydrant on site for fire emergencies; however, about 10% had a hydrant in the vicinity while 30% installed fire detection and alarm systems although they did not have adequate coverage.

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