Police said its fire brigade truck has broken down
There was panic and tears in Mityana town on Saturday evening as the fire gutted a commercial building, destroying properties worth millions of shillings.
The building was located at Mizigo village, a few metres away from Mityana Police Station.
When the fire started at dusk, residents and local leaders tried to call Police to intervene but it did not immediately respond.
"We called them on phone and even run there but they kept asking us questions," one of the local leaders who preferred anonymity said.
A few Police officers later ran to the scene and attempted to stop the fire, with the residents who were using small buckets to pour water on the fire.
As more properties were being destroyed by the fore, the local leaders called another man who was identified as Moses Ssemakula, and asked him to bring a small water pump.
Ssemakula runs a car washing bay at Mizigo village. However even after Ssemakula brought the pump, they failed to find a water source as the supply to Mityana had been off for a day.
Ssemakula supported by a Briton, Geoff Breeden, and Police officers used soil, sand and other methods to stop the fire.
"It's a pity that our properties can be destroyed to this extent, yet the scene is near Police. We called them in time but we did not get any help" Kamada Luteete, the Mizigo LC1 chairman said.
In response, the Police spokesperson for Wamala region Nobert Ochom denied allegations that Police did not help stop the fire and said it is only the fire brigade truck which was not used at the scene.
"True they called us and some even came to Police but our officers ran and arrived at the scene to stop the fire. They used sand and water working with other people" Ochom said.
When asked why the fire brigade truck was not used, Ochom said that it had a mechanical problem.
"The truck failed to start and this is why our men just ran to the scene. It has been taken for repair," he added.