Police Blames Capital Shoppers Fire on Poor Safety Measures

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In short
A senior fire officer in the Police Force has decried the negligence by most constructors and property owners to include fire safety in their construction plans saying it is the reason for most fire outbreaks in the city.

A senior fire officer in the Police Force has decried the negligence by most constructors and property owners to include fire safety in their construction plans saying it is the reason for most fire outbreaks in the city.  

Joseph Mugisa, the Police Chief Fire Officer and Coordinator for Emergency Response, said the fire on Sunday night at Capital Shoppers mall in Ntinda, Kampala, could have gotten worse due to the absence of installed fire safety measures.

At least one person is said to have jumped out of the top floor during the fire and broke his leg, according to eyewitnesses.
 
He said the building; a commercial complex does not have mechanism to avert a fire outbreak such as an automatic sprinkler and fire detection system, to help in situations of fire outbreaks.
 
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Mugisa said the police have secured the scene of the fire and would this morning deploy experts to analyze the debris to try and find the cause of the fire, which destroyed goods worth millions of shillings.
 
An eyewitness, Charles Mubiru said it was around 7:30pm when the fire broke out from Batta Shop, one of the many shops in the complex. He said most people were unaware but noticed the smoke and others running from a section of the building. He explained that the situation was made worse because many people had parked their cars at the facility while others had closed their shops and gone away because it was a Sunday evening.
 
Mubiru also accused the police of delaying to arrive at the scene of the fire, a fact he said made the fire destroy more goods that could have been saved.
 
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However, Mugisa has defended the police response saying it was quick despite the traffic jam they encountered on the Ntinda road leading to the scene of the fire. He added that they were able to contain the fire from spreading to other shops and destroying the entire building.
 
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It was not possible to assess both the cause of the fire and the extent of damage. However, Mugisa said only about 4 percent of the building was destroyed in the fire.