Fire guts Makerere’s female Mary Stuart hall

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Makerere University: Students at Makerere University’s Mary Stuart Hall cried helpless as they were stranded on upper levels of the building as fire consumed the entire ground floor causing massive damages.

According to Assistant Inspector General of Police –AIGP Joseph Mugisha, the director of fire arms, the fire started at around 5:30am in one of the small canteens at Mary Stuart hall and tried to spread to the entire building thanks to fire brigade who worked harder to confine fire on the ground floor.

“This is massive saving, because this is a storage building and if fire had been given chance to spread upward, this building would be no more and we could have had fertilities but the fire fighting and rescue team that came in here did a commendable job,” he told Cyclone Times at the scene.

AIGP Mugisha said property on the ground including all canteens, Photocopiers and chair stores were all destroyed but everything on upper levels were saved.

“Whatever was on the upper floor was saved, we have saved this important building, its structural integrity has remained and it a matter of doing renovation, no lives lost, only three female students sustained minor injuries as they were escaping the incident” he added.

Mr Cyriaco Kabagambe the Dean of Students at Makerere University said students in the hall had remained at the university for their recess term.

He added that administrators are going to sit and determine what to do for them.

“The students who were in the wall were doing recess, we haven’t known the source of the fire but police has promised us to carry out an investigations,” Kabagambe said

Mary Stuart is one of the oldest and magnificent structures in Makerere University built in early 1950s, with a capacity of over 400 students.

However, the safety of its residents is not minded by the administration as it has no fire extinguisher and escape routes in it.

“I was sleeping and heard people screaming, “fire fire” so i tried to find my way out but there was no escape routes so I had to jump to ground from second floor, now see my legs, see my face!” Josephine Achan, a Bachelor of fine art students said.

Achan sustained injuries on her knees and face but requested us not to photograph her.

Mr Mark Adit, a Lumumba hall student who raised police said they were alerted by students who were from “outings” and waiting for the hall to be opened at 6am who saw the fire and started screaming.

“I arrived here at 5:30am, girls who were from “outing” saw the fire and started screaming and alerted us in Lumumba.

We started doing everything possible to rescue girls on the upper floors because the ground level was covered by smoke and fire,” Adit said.

He said that they raised emergency lines but it took police an hour to get to reach the scene.

“We ran to St. Francis and St. Augustine chapels for fire extinguishers because both Mary Stuart and Lumumba has no fire extinguishers on them.

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