Fire gutted Bwaise Timber market for the 22nd time in 18 years, according to available records, leaving property and capital in ashes and traders in tears.
Like in previous incidents, the fire first started at midnight and spread to the nearby mattress factory in Bwaise, Kawempe Division.
In all incidents, police still cannot tell the cause of the fire.
Kampala Metropolitan police deputy spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire said the fire started from the mattress factory and spread to the timber market, but Police Fire and Rescue Services was able to extinguish before it could consume the entire market.
“Six fire tenders were used to put out the fire. There was huge damage to the factory and a few timber workshops. The good thing is no one lost his or her life or got injured,” Mr Owoyesigyire said.
The area dubbed Kawempe Industrial Area is very prone to fire due to poor planning where eateries are located in the same zone where inflammable products are sold and owners of the showrooms don’t wire electric cables as per the standards.
Mr Owoyesigyire said their attempts to find a lasting solution over the fires in the area have not yielded better results since the traders have failed to comply with police advice on how to erect showrooms.
The Annual Crime and Traffic Safety Report of 2018 indicates that most fire incidents in Kampala area are due to unattended to charcoal stoves, electrical short circuit and arson.
FIRE PREVENTION MEASURES
• Security provisions to help prevent wilful fire raising and arson.
• Prohibition on smoking.
• Positioning of heat sources to prevent contact with combustible material.
• Systems of work to prevent accumulation of easily ignitable rubbish or paper.
• Control of contractors or employees using blowlamps, cutting or welding equipment.
• Risk assessment and control in the purchasing of articles and substances to avoid the introduction of fire hazards where possible.
• Risk assessment and control for the use of articles and substances which pose fire hazards to avoid the manifestation of fire risks.
• Maintenance programmes for electrical wiring and appliances.
• Design or positioning of heaters, machinery or office equipment so that ventilators cannot be obstructed.