Authorities in Masaka City are investigating the cause a Monday morning fire that left property worth millions of shillings destroyed at Masaka Parents Secondary School.
The fire broke out at 6am when students had gone for morning lessons, according to one of the students who talked to this publication.
“It is unfortunate that all the girls who were residing in the ill-fated dormitory lost everything, but we are lucky that no life was lost; it would have been a disaster in Masaka ,” he said
Exacerbated by the highly inflammable mattresses and pillows inside the dormitory, efforts by students and school authorities to contain the fire were futile as it left belongings like shoes, suit cases, clothes and books destroyed.
The police fire tender is said to have arrived an hour later, but failed to access the burnt dormitory due to the wet surface.
“This forced us to use buckets and basins to draw from the tank and put out the fire,” the student said.
Moments after the incident, the school management locked the school gate denying entry to both journalists and parents.
At around 8am, the Masaka Resident City Commissioner, Mr Ronald Katende arrived and a security guard at the gate also declined to open for him.
He later identified himself, but the security guard stuck to his gun insisting that he “was under instructions”not to allow anyone inside apart from the police fire brigade team.
It was until Mr Katende threatened to arrest the guard that he opened the gate.
He said he had observed that all dormitories at the school had outlawed triple decker beds and burglar proofed windows.
He said police detectives will record statements from staff and students as part of their investigations.
“The police team is visiting the school now to gather some vital information. I am sure it will help them during their investigations,” he said.
The Officer in charge of the Fire Brigade in Greater Masaka, Ms Jane Watango admitted that the fire tender failed to access the burnt dormitory, but her team together with students used buckets to contain the inferno.
This is the second school to suffer a fire outbreak in two days. On Friday evening, the fire gutted a boys’ dormitory at Aidah and Topher Primary School in Kanoni Town Council, Gomba District and left Uscher Kobusingye, 4, injured.
Ms Kabasinguzi had left the victim sleeping in her cubicle right inside the dormitory. She’s currently admitted at Ebenezer Medical Centre for treatment.