Burning city building exposes frailties of Dar’s Fire brigade

Thursday June 14 2018

The Fire brigade tries to put out a fire at the

The Fire brigade tries to put out a fire at the second floor of a building located at Living Stone and Mchikichi junction in Kariakoo, Dar es Salaam, on Wednesday. PHOTO | OMAR FUNGO 

By Alfred Zacharia @azachraia3 azacharia@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. In clear evidence of how the Fire and Rescue Force is unprepared to face urgent incidents, yesterday the team struggled to put out fire that had broken at a two-storey building located at Kariakoo in Dar es Salaam’s Central Business District (CBD).

The fire started at 10:30am at the two-storey building located at Aggrey and Livingstone Street in Kariakoo but the Fire and Rescue vehicles as well as members of the force arrived at the scene one hour later.

This was well short of the average five-minute response time set by the force, which plans to reduce it further to just 60 seconds.

“Three vehicles came to carry out rescue services, but they could not pump water effectively to the building,” an eye witness said.

“Shortly, two other vehicles arrived at the scene to help, but one was from a private fire and rescue firm and the other was from the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA),” he added.

It took almost two hours for two state-owned rescue vehicles arrive at the scene.

Eyewitnesses who spoke to The Citizen said they managed to handle the fire on the first floor; but it was still spreading to the second floor of the building.

It was until a fire and rescue vehicle from the Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA) arrived at the scene that the situation was handled.

In total, it took almost four hours for the seven vehicles to handle the fire incident.

The Fire and Rescue force spokesperson, Inspector Joseph Mwasambeja, said the road infrastructure and the location of the building were not conducive enough for their operations.

to arrive onsite timely.

“We arrived at the scene on time and we tried to our level best to fight the fire to avoid further damages,” he said briefly.

Owner of the building, whose name could not be identified immediately refused to comment on the matter.

“The house was plastic equipment store, that is why it was a little bit harder to fight the fire immediately,” said Mr Deogratius Sanya chairman of business community at Agrey street.

“The source of the fire might be caused by electricity fault,” he added.