A FIRE razed a city building on Wednesday afternoon after drunk patrons at a bottle store allegedly threw a burning cigarette stump at a haystack,A� setting it alight.
According to sources, patrons at the said drinking spot were in the habit of throwing cigarette stumps through the window that divides them with a shop that sells stock feed along 6th Avenue.
It is said that one man threw his cigarette stump which landed on a hay stack, setting the grass alight. The fire allegedly spread throughout the whole building.
Sources said nobody was injured, although shop staff inhaled smoke while trying to salvage property from the shop.
Nothing could be salvaged from the shop as all property was burnt to ashes.
The owner of the shop, Jabulani Chitende who spoke to B-Metro said the fire brigade was suspecting a case of arson and would engage the police homicide department as he said the fire had started from the bottom of the hay bales going upwards.
A witness who spoke to the news crew, Michael Moyo said the suspects who may have started the fire were said to have fled from the scene after seeing that the building was on fire.
Bulawayo Chief Fire Officer Richard Peterson confirmed the incident and said no deaths were recorded.
a�?We attended to a fire incident in the city centre this afternoon (Wednesday). I am yet to be furnished with further details as I have not yet received the full report. However, no deaths were recorded,a�? said Peterson in a telephone interview.
He warned the public to be careful with fires and inflammables as fires could destroy property and cost lives.
a�?We are always advising the public to be careful when dealing with flammable substances as carelessness can lead to loss of life and loss of property,a�? he said.
The Fire Brigade is on record advising the public to dispose of cigarette stumps responsibly as they have caused fires that have killed people and cost property. Burning cigarette stumps are also one of the leading causes of veld fires.