Image- Herald

Thousands worth of goods were engulfed by a devastating fire that broke out in the Mupedzanhamo cloakroom in Mbare yesterday.

The fire was suspected to have started at midnight, with vendors suspecting it was a well-orchestrated plan to steal high-quality bales of clothes stored in the cloakroom.

The majority of the bales are kept overnight in the Mupedzanhamo cloakroom, which is also where some of the fresh bales are kept before being opened.

The immediate response came from the locals nearby who used buckets of water to douse the fire with the Fire Brigade arriving later.

One of the managers at the cloakroom said it seemed someone planned the arson.

“I suspect that this is a well-planned scheme in which the thieves took the valuable bales first and then set fire to the entire cloakroom to hide the evidence of the theft and draw attention to it,” he said.

“To prove my suspicion, when the fire broke out, all the guards were drunk, all six of them. This is how the deal is executed, as the same thing that happened here also happened to our neighbours.”

He said over US$500 000 worth of goods were lost in the fire, most of which had not yet been opened.

“All the goods that were consumed by the fire can amount to more than US$500 000 as much of the stock was still new,” he said. “Most of the people had put their goods here with a few only opening on Saturday, and the bales opened on Saturday got burnt also.”