Fire Guts Punyu Family Home

THE home of the late businessman Jairus “Punyu” Shikale’s family at Oniihandi village in Oshikoto was destroyed by a fire on Saturday afternoon.

Although no one was injured, the inferno that took the fire brigade about two hours to contain, destroyed most of the property.

Abia Shikale, widow of the late Shikale, who stays at the homestead but was not at home when the fire started, said she suspects that it started in one of the five bedrooms in the main house.

“I do not know what caused the fire because I was not at home. I thank God for the protection,” she said.

One of her neighbours, Martha Dennis, expressed unhappiness at the unwillingness of the Ondangwa town council and the police to help even after numerous calls were made to them.

“The fire could not have destroyed so much because when we first saw smoke coming out of the house, we called the Ondangwa town council and the police but they were both unwilling to come. They told us that the village is not part of the Oshana region, and that we must call the Oshikoto police. That is really bad. Next time they should try to help people regardless of whether they are in Oshana or Oshikoto region,” said Dennis.

The fire was later put out by the fire brigade from Ongwediva and Ondangwa.

Dennis further said the Ondangwa town council fire department and the police should be on alert and be well equipped.

The chief executive officer of Ondangwa town council, Martin Elago, dismissed the allegations, saying the fire fighters rushed to the scene immediately after they were notified.

“That is not true. We sent our fire team to the scene without any obligations. We then asked the Oshana police commissioner to send us some fire fighters from Oshakati and Ongwediva to assist us because of the magnitude of the fire,” said Elago.

He also said the council is able to offer assistance anywhere even beyond the region’s boundaries without hesitation.

Ondangwa police station commander Hafeni Antonius refused to comment on the matter.

Source : The Namibian