Fire guts ex-Toyota auto dealership

BULAWAYO – Fire gutted a former automobile dealership in Bulawayo yesterday, destroying a landmark 11th Avenue building and burning at least four motor vehicles.

No injuries were reported, the ambulance crew said, with firefighters aggressively battling the huge fire at the building once used by Toyota Motor Company as a showroom.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, but Bulawayo City Council fire-fighters said the blaze was possibly started by vagabonds who had reportedly turned the disused building into their own accommodation. It was fully controlled 45 minutes later.

Witnesses said the fire suddenly burst  mid-afternoon, shattering a huge plate glass window in front and bringing down the former showroom roof and destroying four cars parked outside the building.

Several other vehicles that had been parked outside the building — situated at corner J M Nkomo Street and 11th Avenue  — had to be rescued by onlookers who teamed up to break car windows and pushed them to safety.

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