Fire leaves 400 students homeless

About 400 students of the University of Dar es Salaam who reside at Mabibo hostel have no place to stay after a fire destroyed a section of the hostel yesterday.

The university management asked the students to vacate block B and A of the hostel to pave the way for investigations.

Two students were injured during the incident, including one who jumped from the second floor to save her life. They were admitted at Muhimbili National Hospital.

The fire, whose cause could not be immedidately known, burned a store where mattresses were stored and spread to five adjacent cubicles which were completely destroyed.

Briefing journalists at the scene, the varsity’s Vice Chancellor, Prof Rwekaza Mukandala, said primary observations have ascertained that the burnt building was not safe for residential purposes after it had developed a huge crack. The fire only heightened the decision to move them out.

“We order that all students residing in this wing be vacated and be given another place for accommodation while the building is being renovated,” said Prof Mukandala.

He said victims whose belongings were lost in the fire or stolen during the rescue mission would get support from the university. The fire is reported to have started on the second floor of the three-storey block at around 8.30 am. Students claimed an electric problem may have sparked the fire, adding that the building had experienced a flactualtion of electric supply in the recent past. Fire fighters from Ilala arrived when students had managed to put out the fire using water buckets. They fetched water from the ground floor.

Fear and confusion engulfed the occupants who are females, as most of them ran to save their lives, and a few ran after their belongings. As a result one student was said to have jumped from the second floor through the window.