Authorities at the school Namutumba government school say a delay in arrival of the Police fire brigade team implied massive -yet preventable- damage.

At least 185 students survived a fire that razed a girls’ dormitory at Bukonte Seed School in Namutumba District on Friday, said the authorities.

Several students told reporters that they first noticed smoke before the fire spread across the building at around 11am.

Loy Nakirya a S2 student said, “We were in the library watching the release of the 2022 UACE examinations when we saw smoke coming out of our dormitory,”

S3 student Betty Nairuba hailed God that most of the 185 students were in class at the time the fire broke out.

“God is good because none of our fellow learners has been injured or burnt by fire. Unfortunately, we have lost our property including the P7 passlips,” she said.

She added that, “All the beddings, clothes and books have been destroyed by the fire. We do not know what will come next,” Nairuba said

Busoga East Police spokesperson Diana Nandaula said the fire was caused by a short circuit. “By the time the fire rescue team arrived, nothing was there to save but only to control the fire. It is bad but the dormitory was also congested with double-decker beds,” she noted.

Ms Diana expressed concern that the government school lacked fire safety equipment such as extinguishers.

Meanwhile, authorities at the school have suspended the students for at least one week.

“Starting next week, we are going to have only day scholars as we reconstruct the dormitory,” Ms Ruth Isabirye, the chairperson of Bukonte Seed School’s board of governors said on March 3.

According to Ms Isabirye, a delay in arrival of the Police fire brigade team implied massive -yet preventable- damage.

She said, “We had to use the Kampala fire brigade vehicle which arrived at around 2pm. The one in Jinja and Iganga broke down.”

Namutumba District chairperson David Mukisa has asked for government support for swift reconstruction of the girls’ dormitory.“My appeal and request also goes to my fellow politicians in the district to come out and support the school,” he remarked.