E40 000 property burnt as rented flat catches fire
MBABANE - An occupant of a rented flat at Fairview is thankful that no life was lost after it caught fire destroying property worth about E40 000.
Sori Saouroumou was still dumbfounded by the incident when interviewed on Tuesday afternoon.
He was found sitting on the door-steps of one of his neighbour’s flat together with his wife.
The 52-year-old tailor who also operates a grocery shop in Gege said he was still confused and did not know what he would do.
He said he received a call while in Gege on Tuesday morning alerting him of the incident.
He said he lost two television sets, fridge full of food, entire family’s clothes in two wardrobes, stove and many other household items.
"I do not know what to do. I am confused. Everything that was inside was burnt. My work permit, bankbook and identity card were all in the flat. I am left with only the clothes I am wearing. Fortunately there was no money in the house and thank God no one died," he said in an interview at the scene.
He was also thankful that adjacent flats were not set ablaze by the mysterious fire.
Four other flats on the same row as his suffered an electricity blackout as a result of the inferno.
He added that the damage could have been worse as there was a gas cylinder in the house but was fortunately empty.
It did not explode.
The fire whose source is not known is said to have been discovered by a neighbour who arrived after working a night shift at one of the establishments in the Matsapha Industrial Sites.
This was just after midnight on Tuesday.
Upon seeing smoke coming from the flat he notified other tenants and Saouroumou’s close relative in the same compound with whom he leaves the keys when away in Gege.
This time around the relative said he did not have the key.
Alarmed tenants reportedly tried to put out the fire while waiting for the response of the Fire and Emergency Services who allegedly arrived an hour after being notified.
While some of them smashed the windows of the flat and tried to put out the fire by pouring sand others struggled without success to open a padlock that locked a burglar door.
By the time fire engines ascended on the compound it was apparently too late as all items were already up in flames.
A witness who did not want to be named said, "They woke me up just after midnight and we rushed to his brother who normally has the key but said he did not leave it behind. We tried to put out the fire while also trying to break-in but the burglar door would not open. Most of the items could have been saved if the Fire and Emergency Services personnel had responded sooner only as the fire had just started when they were notified."
She said the fire was only put out just before 3 am.
Saouroumou appealed for assistance and said people could call him on 7613 1293.
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