Monday, June 24, 2024

Another fire in Lusaka destroys property

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Gutted machinery and materials at Decormore Investments, a furniture making factory, in Lusaka
Gutted machinery and materials at Decormore Investments, a furniture making factory, in Lusaka

An inferno has swept through a furniture manufacturing factory, Decormore Investments Limited in Lusaka destroying property worth over K3 billion.

The fire which destroyed eight machines, raw materials and finished products is reported to have started on Wednesday night after power, which had gone off, was restored around 20:30 hours.

The factory situated off Lumumba road had been experiencing power outages and in this incident, the factory had no power in the evening and when it was restored, it produced a spark and triggered the fire alarm before the factory was engulfed in fire.

Managing Director Osama Younes found at the scene said the fire lasted close to five hours as a combined team of the council fire brigade and Zambia Air Force (ZAF) struggled to quench it.

“It is very devastating, I saw my machines burning, the Fire tenders came earlier but ran out of water, then we had ZAF to reinforce the quenching of fire which lasted for over five hours and it destroyed property worth between K2.5 billion and K3.5 billion,” said Mr Younes.

He said he had over 30 employees at his factory who would be jobless until his factory resumes operations as it had to start afresh since the fire had extensively damaged the warehouse and the machines.

A check found all the machines, raw materials, finished products burnt and part of the wall where the fire was expected to have started from completely damaged.

An eye witness, a security officer from Giant Eagles Security Services Ben Kunaka said he first heard the alarm set by Armcor ringing an indication that there was danger and when he rushed to check he saw a spark which later stopped.

He said after 30 minutes he again heard the alarm and when he checked for the second time he saw the factory in flames and quickly went outside and started shouting for help and a fire brigade vehicle going somewhere advised him to call their emergency numbers as well as that of the managing director.

“After some time I saw the fire fighters and the others including the owner of the factory Mr Younes who came rushing. We later saw ZAF fire fighters who together assisted to put the fire off,” Mr Kunaka said.

He said the fire was only quenched between 05:00 and 06:00 hours.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Perhaps now is the time to design new building with ther own anti-fire systems and retrofit the old buildings which don’t have. May this should be a promolgated standard and a requirement before a building is insured. Just thinking loud.

  2. Let’s hope it was insured. Electricians and wiring or is it ZESCO irregular supply? Poor building design or fire technology? Capacity of firemen and their machines?

  3. Blame it all on Sata.You see that there’s been increasing frequency of fire disasters since Sata’s politically inspired decision to allow street vendors all over town.We need an educated guy like Mumba at plot one since he can make better educated decisions.

  4. road accidents. fire accidents. women goin AWOL. killing women. street vending. confussion all over . No order in the country.

  5. @Enka Rasha #3.
    Who told you that Mumba is Educated? His just a grade 2 like you. The kind of educated decision he can make is that of firing MMD MP working in Government and then losing the by-election.

  6. Interesting point, Enka; however, in keeping with pragmatism the owners of the buildings should start *****-proofing their premises without delay. Sometimes chaos presents an opportunity for progress.

  7. Common cause hypothesis of these fires are all started by spark.What causes electrical sparks, its  loose connections.Factory/Shops should ensure that all electrical equipment & installations,earth leakages and RCDs are inspected monthly.Its cheap to hire or employ a qualified electrician who will be checking electrical components on a monthly basis than to risk all your property and investment through fires that would have been prevented in the first place.Let also the people that set your fire alarms becoming on monthly basis to check ad reset the fire alarm.Some of these electrical fittings becomes fault and can cause fires as well.Then comes the question of how and where you keep your inflammable materials.Issues to do with house keeping as well are very important.

  8. @3 PLEASE STOP BLAMING PRESIDENT SATA FOR EVERY DISASTER THAT HAPPENS, WHAT HAS THE PRESIDENT GOT TO DO WITH AN ACCIDENT.ON STREET VENDORS BLAME CHILUBA AS HE IS THE ONE BROUGHT THEM IN .LATE PRESIDENT LEVY MWANAWASA, RB WHO WERE MMD EVEN ALLOWED THE VENDORS TO TRADE FREELY SO WHY BLAME IT ON SATA.PLZ BE PRACTICAL AND DONT COMENT LIKE A 5 YEAR OLD

  9. WHY SO MANY FIRES IN THE TIME OF SATA.THERE HAS BEEN MANY ROAD ACCIDENTS AND IT APPEARS THE FIRES ARE BECOMING MORE FREQUENT. SATA IS A WITCH.

  10. This is devastating to say the least. Worst disaster in the making, save for lives not lost. Jobs along with equipment gone up in smoke just like that. Sounds like there was a chain of faults coupled with fire hazards all acting at once. Unlike what is portrayed in the Movies, in the real World restoring of power does not necessarily result into sparks, and should sparks occur they do not have to result into a spontaneous fire without external factors. Lesson to learn here is: –   Building standards and regulations, building codes of practice are there for a reason. They are well intended and not a waste of time and money.     

  11. This means ZAF also has very old fire engines…I think there is need to buy new and sophisticated equipment to fight fires in a very short time frame. This could have been avoided and the 30 employees would still have had their jobs today.

  12. This is a big blow to this businessman – these are the SMEs that keep the economy running and should be cherished at all costs. FACT of the matter is that LCC can only fire small domestic fires in a small kitchen anything bigger than that you are on your own. Moreover a fire engine truck whether in the UK or USA can not put out big fires with it on-board water tanks but will have to inter-connect to the nearest municipal fire hydrant and then pump via the truck. In Zambia such things are not existent and where the do the either have been vandalised or have no running water.

  13. *FACT of the matter is that LCC can only put out small domestic fires in a small kitchen anything bigger than that you are on your own.

  14. Kabimba, GBM, Gounnasi, Mmembe you lot have so much much money it hurts. Why can’t you buy new fire engines and ensure that Zesco is accountable for any more fire from now on.

  15. Ever since I learned to read news, I’ve never ready a single article where the Zambian fire brigade successfully put out a fire. Does any one remember?

  16. zesco and fire department must be partnered with private companies
    y after many years of independence people continue losing businesses in this way
    timber plant,freedom way shops and now another factory
    our state should consider outsourcing or partially privatise some of these parastatals e.g Zesco,Fire brigade ,or remove this department from council so that it operates autonomously

  17. ZESCO ends at the metering point.Beyond that its maimwene/ owner’s responsibility. Engage qualified technicians to work on your electrical installations otherwise you end messed up.

  18. Its not the fire brigade to blame!
    Its poor fire guarding systems and cheap electrical wiring that are causing fires. We all see in developed countries how they guard against fire in homes, office buildings by having fire alarms that open water sprinklers when there is a fire. Don’t say you dont not see these in movies.

    So let’s blame fire brigade or anyone. I have never seen a building in Zambia that has water sprinklers but alarms only.

  19. Its surely the govt to blame because they’ve handicapped the firemen by not funding them well enough,by approving buildings that shud not be approved and letting all kinds of bisness everywhere.Risky business shud never be allowed in residential or high density areas and accessibilty by firemen shud not be hindered by unapproved and reckless street vendors.

  20. Hi all, here every one is sharing such knowledge, thus it’s pleasant to read this blog,
    and I used to go to see this website daily.

    Feel free to surf to my web blog – ??????

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