By A Correspondent-One medical doctor suffered a fractured leg at Mpilo Central Hospital, Wednesday after a staff residence was gutted by fire around midnight.
Property with an estimated US$500 000 was destroyed in the fire where 39 health workers were forced to jump out through a window to save their lives.
Witnesses said the fire, caused by an electric fault had spread to the whole building within a minute.
Mpilo acting chief executive officer Professor Solwayo Ngwenya said the hospital is arranging alternative accommodation for affected families.
“This is to inform you that last night one of our staff residences was destroyed by a massive fire. It affected 39 health workers and their families. We were very lucky that no one was seriously injured,” said Prof Ngwenya.
“One person suffered a broken ankle and another had smoke inhalation effects but is stable. Our thoughts are with the affected members and their families.”
Prof Ngwenya said some staff residents reported seeing sparks from an electrical distribution box which could have caused the fire.
“However, the Fire Brigade is working on further forensic investigations to establish the exact cause of the fire. The estimated cost of property damage is around US$ 500 000.00. We hope to rise up from this terrible setback, and continue to give service to many of our patients,” she added.
Bulawayo Chamber secretary who is also in charge of the Fire and Ambulance Services Mrs Sikhangele Zhou said firefighters could only save the bottom floor of the two-storey building.
“Our investigators are still on the ground because we spent the whole night trying to put out the fire. We got the calls at 11.04 PM and we were here at 11.09PM but the top floor was already well alight and we managed to save the bottom floor. We are still investigating and once we are done, we will let you know what we think caused the fire,” said Mrs Zhou.