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Police officers stranded as fire guts Nebbi Police station residence

By Benedict Okethwengu

Added 4th January 2020 02:02 PM

According to Nicholas Natajja , the officer in charge of criminal investigations in Nebbi, the fire started at around 2:30am, leaving several Police officers and their families homeless.

Fire 703x422

A section of the building at Nebbi Police station destroyed by the fire on Saturday

According to Nicholas Natajja , the officer in charge of criminal investigations in Nebbi, the fire started at around 2:30am, leaving several Police officers and their families homeless.

FIRE OUTBREAK
 
Fire has this morning gutted residences of Police officers at Nebbi Police Barracks in Nebbi Municipality, destroying property worth millions of shillings and government stores, such as uniforms and boots. 
 
According to Nicholas Natajja , the officer in charge of criminal investigations in Nebbi, the fire started at around 2:30am, leaving several Police officers and their families homeless.
 
"The fire started in the room of an officer, who was not around. By the time other officers came to put it out, it was too late,” Nantajja said. “We did our best to stop the fire from spreading to other units, but we were too late.”
 
He added that the fire unit from Arua responded to prevent the Police station and other parts of the barracks from catching fire.
 
However, a Police source said the fire unit arrived almost two hours after they were called due to the long distance.
 
West Nile has only one Police fire unit, which is stationed in Arua. It manages fire outbreaks in over eight districts. 
 
"We need a fire unit in Nebbi to prevent such scenarios. The guys arrived when more damage had already been done," the source said.
 
Nantajja said the cause of the fire has not yet been established, but the fire investigators are on ground to ascertain its cause. They did not rule out the possibility of an electric short circuit.
 
"The fire prevention team will find out, but so far, I think our investigation points to electric short circuit," he said.
 
The Police officers who lost their property in the inferno include Rogers Namanya, the district officer in charge of traffic and a Police driver identified as Godwin Onyuthwun. Both were not around when the fire broke out.
 
"Namanya and Onyuthwun lost everything, including uniforms and documents. They had travelled to their respective villages," Nantajja said. 
A number of Police officers were seen stranded at the Police station, with nowhere to go. 
 
"We are trying to get a temporary place to accommodate the officers with their families," Nantajja said.
 
Other fires
This is not the first time fire is gutting a Police station. In 215, fire gutted Bugonga Police Station in Entebbe municipality, destroying property worth millions of shillings.
 
In 2017, fire gutted some of the officers' residence at Katwe Police station, also destroying unspecified quantities of property.
 

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