Chinese warehouse gutted by fire


Journalist covering event falls from roof


MASERU – A business structure known as Nina’s Warehouse at the Industrial Area here was on Wednesday gutted by flames and a reporter for the local weekly newspaper, Newsday, fell from the roof of a neighbouring building while capturing the incident on camera.

The reporter, Chris Theko, reportedly sustained minor injuries. It was an overcast afternoon at around 14:00hrs when fire broke out, according to eyewitnesses, but the cause of the fire remains unknown at this point with the police investigation and forensic teams yet to get to the bottom of it.

The gutted building was a warehouse that was used for storing retail goods for distribution to smaller Chinese shops and it also doubled as a residential place for the owners.

“The fire started at the toilet paper section and soon ignited into a large and uncontrollable blaze,” ’Manthati Molibeli told this paper, adding that everything happened so quickly that all they could do was to helplessly watch the warehouse burn.

A worker from the warehouse who asked to remain anonymous said when the fire broke out, it was just a spark almost like there was an electricity malfunction. However, the worker continued, the stashed toilet rolls had caught fire and all she could do was warn the others to run to safety.

Thankfully, she said, at least there were no casualties recorded. The worker said she informed her Chinese supervisor before fleeing the scene to the nearby police post to ask them to call the local fire brigade. She also said the workers all suspect electricity malfunction because it started off as a little spark.

Makoli, as the other warehouse workers affectionately call him, explained that “the fire seems to have destroyed most of the goods in the warehouse because the fire-fighters got there too late.

He said he wished service delivery in the country could be improved because such fires could be controlled on time, if not prevented at all.

The owners of the warehouse, who seemed to be too preoccupied to answer any questions, could only signal by hands to show the manner in which the fire spread because they couldn’t express themselves in words.


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