Diving center and beach bungalows destroyed by fire on Zanzibar


(eTN) – An internationally-recognized diving school and several neighboring bungalow-type beach resorts, along with private beachside residences, burned down last Thursday when strong winds from the ocean blew burning debris from a fire on to the makuti roofs of neighboring compounds. While the fire brigade was promptly alerted, it incurred the anger and felt the ire of affected residents and owners, when the single fire truck dispatched to the scene ran out of water soon after its arrival and then got stuck when trying to replenish water from the nearby ocean.

Only a few weeks earlier, a similar fire on the other side of the island also destroyed beach residences and small accommodation units, but the fire last Thursday seems to have been rather more extensive as it destroyed several such small bungalow-type hotels and the diving center’s meetings rooms and bedrooms, stores, offices, and back-of-house facilities.

No feedback was given on the value of the properties burned down or if they were insured against fire damages and loss, and there continues to be speculation over the cause of the recent fires as much as about this one, leaving one to wonder if a technical electrical fault, careless handling of open fire in a kitchen, or arson were to blame.

Several guests staying in the affected properties also claimed to local media representatives that they lost their entire belongings in the fire as their rooms burned down. No indication has been given as to how long the repairs or rebuilding of the affected properties might take.