Lusaka City Council would like to correct the impression created in some sections of the media alleging that the Bible House building has been burnt to ashes following the fire which occurred yesterday 8th January 2017. To the contrary the building is intact only one warehouse belonging to a shop named Peace Spares Suppliers was gutted. The warehouse situated at the back of the shop contained highly inflammable substances such as oils, motor vehicle spares, paints and other hardware materials. It is alleged that on the materials day the owner of the shop had contracted someone to weld something in the warehouse, it is during this process that the fire was ignited. The owners attempted to put out the fire but failed that’s when they called Fire Brigade at 10:56 hrs. The Fire Brigade turn out immediately by the time they arrived on the scene the fire had already grown, however the officers with the help of our partners from ZAF and Airport Corporation managed to prevent the fire from spreading to other shops.
It is also alleged that the Fire Brigade went to the scene without water. First and foremost its important to understand that Fire Tender was not meant to carry water to the fire incident, the water which is carried in the fire tender is just for First Aid. The Fire officers are supposed to find water at the scene or nearby where the fire tender can connect. Sadly the entire City of Lusaka has only three functional points where the fire officers can draw water namely Fire Brigade main station, Manchichi near Northmead Secondary School and one point opposite Chibelo Basic Sch. The rest of the hydrant points its either they have no water completely or the pressure is too low to pump water into the fire tender, hence the movements the fire officers make to and from the scene. its also sad to note that the existing fire hydrants in the Central Business District have been vandalised by some people so that they can have access to water, which has led Lusaka Water and Sewerage Co to shut down a number of the hydrants. Lack of water therefore has been a biggest challenge facing the fire men and women whenever there was such emergencies. The Council would like to reiterate that the purported burning downing to ashes of Bible House is malicious and incorrect. The Council through public relations has always provided information to members of the general public where need arises and its in this vein that we wish to urge the media to get first-hand information through the public relations unit in order to avoid misleading the public.