Eyewitnesses have given accounts of circumstances under which one of the girls’ dormitories at King’s College Budo caught fire on Tuesday morning.
In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, an unknown fire gutted Grace House dormitory leaving property worth millions of shillings burnt into ashes.
Inside the burnt facility, remains of books, beds, mattresses, jerricans and other scholastic materials could be seen as firefighters tried to put out the fire that continued as late as 9am.
According to some of the students who preferred anonymity, the fire started at around 6:30am, a few minutes after they had left the dormitory.
“We had gone for preps and heard screams from someone that our dormitory had caught fire,” one of the students that preferred anonymity because she is not allowed to comment on the matter said.
The story was corroborated by Elizabeth Babirye, a teacher who also doubles as the house mistress for Grace House dormitory that caught fire.
“The dormitory houses S.5, S.3 and S.1 students but all of them had left when the fire started. It is one of the house prefects mandated to ensure that all students have gone for preps that realised smoke coming out of the dormitory and made an alarm,”Babirye said.
The housemistress for the burnt girls’ dormitory told the Nile Post that the burnt facility houses over 100 students but at the time of the fire, they were less than that number due to Coronavirus standard operating procedures by government that require social distance .
“We are also wondering what could have gone wrong since every student had left the dormitory. The good thing is that all students are safe,” she added.
Investigators at the scene spent most part of Tuesday morning interviewing students, teachers and the dormitory mistress in a bid to find a clue about the fire.
According to investigators that this website talked to, they are still puzzled at what could have exactly happened to spark off the fire.
“All students leave the dormitory at 6am and only return at 1 pm during lunchtime. Inside the dormitory, there are no sockets and therefore no ironing takes place inside. The ironing takes place at the balcony but it is more puzzling since all students had left,” a scene of crime officer who spoke on condition of anonymity told this website.
According to Dr. Edward Kayondo, the former president for Old Budonians club, Grace House dormitory was named after Rev. Canon Harold Myers Grace, the first headmaster to admit girls to Kings College Budo in 1933.
“The dormitory is iconic in remembrance to our third headmaster who admitted 12 girls turning the school into the first co-education institution into the country. The dormitory was named after him and the role he played,”Kayondo said.
He said that the dormitory is iconic since one of the first people to occupy it was former First Lady, Hannah Lule, wife to former President Yusuf Lule.
“We remember our former headmaster and the first 12 girls to join the school. More so, the girls make only 30% of the total population and that hurts us more, now that one of their dormitories is burnt.”
According to the school administrators, they will face problems admitting students when one of the girls’ dormitory has been burnt yet they are required to ensure social distance while in the dormitory.
A statement by the deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire indicated that investigations into the fire have commenced.
However, the Bishop of Namirembe Cathedral under which the school falls, Rev Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira challenged Police to speed up the investigations into the fire.
“After completing investigations, they should not keep the report to themselves. The report should be made public so that we know what caused the fire,”Luwalira who visited the dormitory to assess the impact of the fire said.