GIRLS residing n one of the hostels at the Windhoek Technical High School had to be evacuated from the building and treated for shock after a fire scare on Saturday evening.
According to Percy Openshaw, freelance fireman and owner and operator of Crisis Response in Windhoek, the cause of the scare was an old electrical sanitary pad incinerator mounted on a wall in the hostel.
“The incinerating device is very old and has not been used for a long time. One of the girls must have switched it on because it started smoking. The smoke spread through the entire hostel causing panic among the young residents.”
He said one of the girls suffered an asthma attack as a result and had to be treated by ambulance personnel. Some of the other hostel residents were treated for shock afterwards.
“One of the teachers went inside and switched the machine off and after all the windows were opened the smoke ventilated out of the building and the girls could return to the rooms.”
Earlier on Saturday the Windhoek Fire Brigade attended a fire at the China Town shopping centre in the northern industrial area of the capital city.
Openshaw who also attend the scene said a cage in which paper and plastic trash are kept for recycling purposes caught fire behind one of the shops.
Initially it was thought that one of the shops in the centre caught fire and three fire engines from the Windhoek Fire Brigade responded to the emergency call.
Many of the shopkeepers evacuated the shopping centre but the fire in the rubbish cage was rapidly extinguished and people were able to return to their shops shortly afterwards.
Late on Saturday evening an abandoned house on the corner of Simpson and Curie Street in the Windhoek West suburb of the capital city was completely destroyed by a fire.
The incident occurred at about 23:00 and the Windhoek Fire Brigade extinguished the blaze and kept the flames from spreading to neighbouring houses.
No one was killed or injured during the incident.
It is suspected that vagrants occupying the building illegally started the fire however the actual cause of the blaze is still to be determined by a formal investigation.