Goods worth millions of dollars were destroyed when a Rusape Town Council (RTC)-owned complex in the town caught fire in the early hours of Friday morning.
The complex houses several businesses that include motor spare shops, hair salons, bookshops, dentist, boutiques, tailors and cloakrooms for flea market operators.
Firefighters from the local authority were alerted and reacted swiftly to the fire incident thereby saving the complex from complete destruction.
RTC human capital and administration officer Togarepi Nerwande told The Manica Post that they were still investigating the cause of the fire and the value of property destroyed. He said:
There was a fire incident at Old Education Offices early this morning. The council building houses various businesses and three apartments were burnt down.
Our fire department managed to control the fire and put it out. The cause of the fire and the value of the property lost is still to be ascertained.
Eyewitnesses said the fire started in a building that housed a salon and photocopying and printing shop.
One Lucas Maunga, who was running a typing and photocopying shop within the building, said he lost everything he had. He said:
All my machines which include computers, laptops, photocopying machines and stationery were burnt in the fire. I have lost everything I had.
This was my only source of income and it will be difficult for me to recover from this loss.