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We need modern fire fighting tools-boss

4th February 2013
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Pius Nyambacha

Fire and Rescue Force yesterday pleaded for modern equipment to boost its capacity to fight fires in high-rise buildings, especially those mushrooming in Dar es Salaam City.

The appeal was made by Pius Nyambacha the acting Commissioner General, who said his force has only one fire tender capable of going up to 56 metres above.

He was speaking after battling with and putting out fire which broke out yesterday morning at the 18-floor PPF tower.

The fire started at the 17th floor at around 6.00 in the morning. The rescue forces battled for five hours to control it from spreading to other floors and finally putting it out.

It took the joint efforts of Fire and Rescue Force, Ultimate Company, Port Rescue force and Air port rescue and Knight Support.

The PPF Director General, William Erio told journalists that only the 17th floor was affected because the forces managed to prevent the fire from spreading to other floors.

He said the floor accommodates the offices of Abbot Fund and Seven Seas Shipping Agency, adding that both were not affected.

Meanwhile, Dar es Salaam special Zone police Commander, Suleiman Kova said two guards at the building are being interviewed by police in investigations on the cause of the fire.

“Two people who are guards have been detained by the police to assist in investigation to establish the cause of the fire,” he said.

Kova added that all people working in high rise building should be taught how to use these fire extinguishers.

Speaking of the need for better equipment for Fire and Rescue Force, Nyambacha pointed out that one truck with equipment capable of reaching up to 56 metres was selling at 2bn/-, while those capable of reaching higher than 56 metres were selling at 7bn/-.

Meanwhile all buildings which do not abide by the rules and regulations provided by the Fire and Rescue force will be closed, Nyambacha warned.

He warned all owners of the high rise buildings in the country to consider all safety measures required to aid fire fighting and rescue, adding that any tower found to lack the required equipment will be closed.

He said all buildings are supposed to have standby equipment to fight fire. “We are conducting inspection in all buildings and those which are found to go against the fire regulations will be closed,” he said.

He ordered fire and rescue force in the country to inspect all high rise buildings and offer certificates to those which meet the criteria and those which do not should be held accountable.

Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Said Mecki Sadick praised the fire and rescue forces, saying they have managed to fight the fire effectively, adding that the designers of the building had considered all fire safety criteria.

Sadick further wanted all high buildings in the city to have fire extinguishers and other equipment needed to fight fires.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN