By Oriel Khumalo
The largest manufacturer of household appliances in the country Monarch steel a subsidiary of Treger Products located along Khami Road , at the Thorngrove industrial area went up in flames on Sunday night .
According to the Bulawayo Fire Brigade Services Sub Officer , Khumbulani Dube, in a report the fire is suspected to have been caused by an electrical fault from a recycling machine .
“The Brigade observed that fire started from a recycling machine and spread to other parts of the plant. The brigade observed that the steel roof was subjected to intense heat for a long time resulting to deforming and collapsing “, reads the report.
The fire brigade attended the scene after it was alerted by security guards at the plant who said that they saw large volumes of smoke rising above the roof from the recycling machine.
“Mr Smart Moyo a security Guard indicated that he is the one who phoned the brigade after being told by one security guard about the fire. He indicated that he had to rush to the scene of fire to check if it was true and rushed back to the office which is about a kilometer away to phone the brigade. He also indicated that there was a night shift which was at work the previous day and knocked off on Sunday morning.
Simba a dog handle indicated that he was the first to notice the fire, he saw large volumes of smoke already raising above the roof from recycling machine and rushed to inform another dog handler who operates from outside to inform their Boss about the fire.
Samuel, another security guard told the brigade that after receiving the message from his colleague, he then informed his Foreman who rushed to the scene to check before phoning the brigade. ”
The fire spread at an alarming speed in all directions damaging three recycling machines, 5 bailers and 20 tones stock of finished and raw material and a forklift , which were an indication that highly flammable substances were involved .
Dube added that no fatalities or injuries were however recorded. The amount of property damaged is yet to be determined .
Officials from the company could not comment on the matter .
The plant manufactures window frames, door frames, wheelbarrows, geysers and kitchen furniture.