In a spate of devastating fires that have left car owners in despair, 15 cars were burnt to mere shells at a workshop in Mzilikazi, Bulawayo. This incident comes only days after a similar tragedy unfolded in Marondera, where a massive fire at Top Gear Panel Beaters consumed at least 20 cars, leaving vehicle owners devastated.
The consecutive incidents have raised serious concerns about the safety and emergency response preparedness in these areas.
Fire Emanates from Burning Garbage
The fire in Bulawayo is believed to have originated from a nearby dumpsite, where a group of children were burning garbage.
The flames quickly spread to the workshop, engulfing 15 cars and causing significant financial losses estimated to be in the tens of thousands of United States Dollars.
The workshop mechanics expressed shock and uncertainty regarding their future prospects.
Mr. Abrain Sibanda, one of the mechanics, lamented,
“We don’t know our next step from here because the fire was started by children who live near our workshop. We have been calling our clients since morning and they seem to be understanding, but you know how it is. It’s a really big blow for our workshop because no one will ever trust our workshop again.”
The workshop is not insured, compounding their woes and necessitating a fresh start.
Marondera Garage Fire Raises Concerns
Meanwhile, in Marondera, the fire outbreak at Top Gear Panel Beaters shocked residents and raised questions about the municipality’s preparedness in handling such emergencies.
Witnesses at the scene expressed their disappointment with the delayed response from the municipality. One witness expressed,
“We are very saddened by this incident, which occurred just across the fire workshop. It shows our council is not prepared.”
Another resident, whose trailer was destroyed in the fire, expressed his misfortune, stating,
“My trailer was in there. Fortunately, I had taken my car, but this is very unfortunate.”
The lack of immediate action by the municipality has left residents questioning the effectiveness of local authorities in addressing such emergencies.
Municipality Responds and Investigates
Marondera Municipality issued a statement regarding the incident, acknowledging that their fire tender vehicle was unavailable due to routine service, forcing them to seek assistance from Harare City Council.
Mr. Kudakwashe Tapfumaneyi, the public relations officer for Marondera Municipality, expressed regret over the damage caused and assured the public that investigations are underway to determine the cause of the fire.
These consecutive incidents of workshop fires have not only caused significant financial losses to the affected businesses but have also shaken the confidence of vehicle owners in the safety and security of these facilities.
It is imperative for the local authorities to take immediate action to address the concerns raised by residents and ensure better emergency preparedness to prevent such devastating incidents in the future