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Makerere Fire: There Was no Security at the Time Of Incident, Says Police

Police has said that the cause of the fire that razed down Makerere University’s main building also known as the Ivory Tower has not yet been established.

This was disclosed by spokesperson CP Fred Enanga in a press briefing held in Kampala on Monday morning.

“At this stage, we have not yet entered to start carrying out investigations as the scene is quite risky since the building suffered huge damages that require extra caution and attention to detail while combing through to find different residues all of which are integral components of the investigation process,” he said.

Apparently, fire fighting teams are still on standby following the reiginition that happened last night.

Preliminary findings by police indicate that the reiginition was caused by a heat build up from the first incident which also led to the destruction of the office of the Vice Chancellor located on the second floor of the ill fated building. The office of the vice chancellor had earlier been saved.

According to Enanga, Police investigators will commence their work when the district engineers and teams from KCCA’s Physical Planning department complete carrying out the risk assessment.

The fire was reported to have started from the Public Relations Office which was on the fourth floor.

Enanga said the Police crew established that the fire quickly spread due to the building’s wooden frames, partitions and wooden floors which caused it to shoot into the roof, eventually causing the ceiling to curve in.

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It took Police fire brigade over 10 hours to contain the fire, 11 trucks were used and 40 crew members were at the scene.

Enanga also revealed that it was extremely hard to contain this fire because at the time a response team was called, the fire had already spread to the roof.

“Security detail at Makerere was actually absent, they could have absconded from duty and failed to realise the smoke from the building,” he said.

“One police officer who was supposed to be on duty is in custody. He claims he was on duty but on interrogation, it was established that he was indeed absent,” Enanga added.

Police has also arrested a private security guard who was deep asleep in the same building. Reportedly, it took fire fighters hours to wake him up.

As part of investigations, security experts have also retrieved CCTV footage from the wing of the library which will be used to analyse if at all there were people who accessed the building.

“Also UMEME teams from Kawempe will be joining in the investigations,” Enanga said

 

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