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Kampala, (UG): At least one person has been confirmed dead and merchandise worth millions of shillings destroyed to ashes in a fire that gutted City House one of the buildings along William Street in Kampala, Uganda’s Capital.

Social Media on Monday morning went ablaze with photos and camera recordings of the building gutted in dark smoke as occupants laboured to find an escape route through the windows and other possible openings.

Although the exact estimate of the damage is yet to be evaluated, DailyExpress understands that several business proprietors were left counting losses and cursing the Monday morning fire whose cause up to now was yet to be established by the police actively investigating the case.

In a statement released on Monday morning during a security presser at Naguru, Kampala Metropolitan Policy deputy spokesman, Mr Luke Owoyesigyire confirmed the fire outbreak and the fatality of one unidentified individual with several others nursing injuries sustained from the incident.

“Today, at approximately 9 am, a devastating fire erupted at City House in Kampala, resulting in one confirmed fatality. The deceased individual has yet to be identified, and the body has been transported to the City Mortuary Mulago for a thorough postmortem examination,” Mr Owoyesigyire said.

Explaining the incident in detail, Owoyesigyire told journalists that the incident response team of about 7 fire brigade trucks arrived swiftly at the scene to stop the fire but admitted that the Police delayed the extinguishing because it lacked hydrants near the fire scene.

“Following the heroic efforts of the Fire Prevention and Rescue services, the blaze has been successfully extinguished, preventing further escalation,” he said, adding that an immediate investigation has been initiated to determine the precise cause of the fire.

“The findings of this investigation will be communicated promptly to the public.”

Initial reports from eyewitnesses speculate that the fire might have been caused by a few individuals who were cooking within the premises.

As a precautionary measure, police said neighbouring buildings will in the meanwhile be closed, as the situation calms down. Among the buildings affected is the Church House, which houses the Equity Bank head office in the city centre.

“We kindly request the cooperation of the public during this challenging time as we are yet to open up the roads adjacent to the crime scene. The building itself is not safe for occupancy and will be closed off until further notice. We will provide further information as it becomes available,” stated Owoyesigyire.

City House is the building housing the offices of the opposition Democratic Party (DP) offices. It also houses several restaurants and stationery shops on the first floor, textile shops on the ground floor, and office outlets on the third floor.

Source: Daily Express

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