The New Times (Kigali)

23 December 2012

Rwanda: Millions Lost in Nyabugogo Inferno

GOODS worth millions were yesterday morning destroyed in a fire that engulfed a ware house containing an assortment of construction materials, in the busy Nyabugogo suburb in Nyarugenge district, along the Kigali Huye highway.

According to eyewitnesses the fire started at around 9am. No person was reported injured in the inferno but a lot of property was lost despite tireless efforts by the Fire Brigade to put down the fire.

"When the fire broke out, police and army respondoded fast and rushed to the scene. Together with the local population, they battled the fire with hope of saving a few things but it was too strong to extinguish," said Abdul Niyoryo, one of the first witnesses to arrive at the scene.

The warehouse belongs to city businessman Edward Ruterana, who owns a famous hardware store known as SOFARU.

"I was not around when the fire started but people who were at the depot told me the fire started at around 9:30am. I was told that the fire could have been started by some live electricity cables that may have caused a short circuit but we have not confirmed this yet," said Ruterana in a phone interview.

He said that the actual loss cannot be immediately ascertained. "But what I can tell you is that I have lost hundreds of million francs," Ruterana said.

Though too much property was lost, the people, army and police who arrived at the scene first managed to evacuate two trucks that were parked next to the burnt depot. People at the scene claimed the trucks also belonged to the businessman.

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