Sunday January 5 2014

Fire guts Kilembe Mines Hospital

By Enid Ninsiima

KASESE- Barely eight months after Kilembe Mines Hospital was devastated by floods, fire has gutted the facility, destroying medical items worth millions of shillings.

Fire gutted the hospital store at around 12.45pm on Friday.
The destroyed properties include mattresses, bedsheets, blankets and assorted medical items.

The hospital’s assistant medical superintendent, Dr Robert Tiondi, said about 60 per cent of the items that were kept in the stores were damaged by the fire.

“Many items which got burnt were part of the donations that the hospital received as resettlement package from floods,” Dr Tiondi said.

He said prior to the inferno, the store, which was full to capacity, contained boxes of IV fluids , materials used in theatre, materials for people with disabilities and beddings, among others.

“This store had items which were not yet used. We have managed to put out the fire and recover some properties but a good number of them were burnt,” he said.

The cause of the fire had by press time not yet been established, although medics suspect that it could have originated from power short circuit or fire from attendants who cook from hospital premises since it has no kitchen.

Mr John Kigele, an enrolled nurse attached to the theatre, was part of the team that fought to put out the fire.

“We heard patients and attendants shouting fire, fire, fire. We rushed out, only to find smoke coming out of the medical stores,” Mr Kigele said.

He added: “On opening the store, it was terrible inside. We used our 10 litre fire extinguisher, sand and water to reduce on the spread.” The Kasese OC/CIID, Mr Godwin Tumugumye, who led a team of detectives to the scene, said investigation on the matter is ongoing.

By the time police Fire Brigade reached at the scene about 10kms away, the fire had already been put off by the hospital staff.