Fire razes another house in Blantyre: Residents ask ESCOM to intervene

Severe fire  Thursday night burnt down another family house at Manja Township in Malawi’s commercial city of Blantyre damaging property worth unspecified sum of money.

The house, located a few meters away from Manja Primary School, belongs to Mr. and Mrs. Tembo.

According to eye witnesses who spoke to Nyasa Times, the blaze was spotted just before 19:00hrs on Thursday after electricity was restored but the cause was not instantly established.

“There was black out for more than an hour but immediately after its reinstatement we heard people screaming for help. We rushed there and found that the inferno had attacked part of the house. We joined some of the family members who were already trying to douse it but it swiftly multiplied,” said one rescuer who was imbibing at a pub just across the house.

cores of sympathisers outside the gate of the burnt house (middle) after the fire.-Photo by Lucky Mkandawire, Nyasa Times

However, the family managed to rescue little stuff after the flames was extinguished and prevented from spreading further by the fire brigade team from Blantyre City Council (BCC).  Several other properties got completely or partly ravaged.

The mother of the house, Rosiliro Tembo, a seasoned journalist and the voice behind Unilever South East Africa, formerly Lever Brothers, declined to say anything besides thanking the people who assisted in the rescue operation.

The misfortune comes barely a month after another, belonging to Tamanda Mayinjini of Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), also got ravaged just some meters away.

Just weeks before that fire, another house belonging to Dyson Mmina of Standard Bank also went up in flames in the area.

In essence, this is the fifth private residence this year alone to be demolished by an inferno within a radius of about 500 meters. All these fire spates have been linked to electricity faults.

Meanwhile, residents of the township have pleaded with the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) to consider launching a serious investigation into the root cause of the frequent fires in the area.

Several depressed residents who spoke to Nyasa Times were of the feeling that the fires are as a result of a mechanical fault within ESCOM power distribution system in the area.

“We are worried with these recurrent fires. The next thing is that we will lose people’s lives. How come they [fires] just be circulating around this area? ESCOM needs to launch a thoughtful investigation into the matter before something big occurs,” said a couple that was among the first rescuers.

ESCOM’s Kwacha station which is responsible for electricity faults in most parts of Blantyre South Constituency such as Soche, Manja, Chitawira, Nkolokosa, Zingwangwa, Soche East, Chilobwe, Manase, Naperi and Chimwankhunda located within Manja Township.

A damaged window which rescuers wanted to use to remove property from the house but failed- Pictures By Lucky Mkandawire- Nyasa Times.
Part of the destroyed property scatterd in the house

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