Fire guts health office

Fire guts health office

MASERU – THE Ministry of Health’s finance office was gutted by fire on Wednesday morning, in what is suspected be an act of arson.
The police and the ministry said the fire destroyed computers and other financial records.
Police spokesman Superintendent, Mpiti Mopeli, said the circumstances surrounding the incidents are still sketchy and investigations are underway.

The ministry’s spokesperson, ’Mateboho Mosebekoa, said they are still waiting for a report from the police’s fire brigade to understand what happened.
“We are still waiting for reports from the police department of fire brigade regarding the cause of the fire,” Mosebekoa said, adding that the ministry will call a press conference today (Thursday).
Supt Mopeli said when they received the report the finance office was already ablaze and the fire was spreading to other offices.

The magnitude of the damage has triggered questions about the fire department’s ability for deal with fire disasters.
The Ministry of Health headquarters is just over 100 metres from the Fire Brigade but the firemen appeared to have arrived slightly late and looked ill-equipped to control the fire.
But Supt Mopeli said the firemen responded on time and had the right equipment.
The amount of damage depends on the nature of the fire and how quickly it is reported to the fire department, he said.

The police do not have enough fire trucks, with some having broken down years ago.
In the past some factories have been burned to ashes after the fire brigade failed to arrive on time. And when they eventually arrived they did not have the right equipment to effectively put out the fire.

Nkheli Liphoto

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