JANUARY 28, 2010: 300 Residents Left Homeless After Fire in Gulu

300 Gulu Residents Left Homeless After Fire Guts Huts

SOURCE: Monitor

By Sam Lawino

Over 300 residents of Palenga Zone in Layibi Division, Gulu were on Tuesday left homeless and their property worth millions of shillings destroyed when fire gutted their huts.
However no death was reported in the incident.

An expectant mother identified as Ms Jenty Aryemo, collapsed and was taken to Gulu Hospital after learning that she lost all her belongings.

Witnesses said the afternoon inferno was started by a child who was trying to cook food in one of the huts and it spread rapidly to other huts.

Eric Komakech, a student of Gulu College, said they saw their neighbours’ houses on fire but they could not help in time.
“We saw a dark smoke and huge flame on top of the roofs as we ran to rescue their belongings but our efforts were futile,” Mr Komakech said.

Another victim, Ms Angela Ayot, who was asleep inside her hut when the fire broke out, blamed the fire on acts of witchcraft.
“Some traditional activities go on here and every year fire starts mysteriously in this hut. I suspect it was witchcraft,” a tearful Ms Ayot said.

Fire stopped
The Police Fire Brigade prevented the fire from spreading further. The area LC1 Vice Chairperson, Ms Rose Aparo blamed the fire outbreak on the reluctance by the internally- displaced people to leave the congested area and return to their villages.
In December last year, five huts and a house caught fire in the same locality after a child cooking set fire on the roof of their hut.