Fire Expert speaks out on Makerere University Fire disaster

By Lawrence Mushabe

Julius Otayi ,professional aviator in General aviation fire services.He was recruited in Civil aviation industry  in 1996  up to 2005  and trained as afire fighter that involves structural fires and air craft fires.

He has 24 years in experience in  fire fighting. He has also served as an aviation fire Marshall in countries like seriea loene ,Ivory coast among others. 

On the Makerere University Fire incident that burnt Ivory tower to arshes last weekend is said to have remained In flames for over 9 hours due to the delay in response by the Police fire Brigade.

Otayi told URN reporter that he received a phone call on Sunday morning  from one of his friends and told him that Makerere was in flames. Later after the address of the President ,he received another call that Makerere’s Ivory tower  is burning again that cracked up his tension and minds  as afire Marshall and super visor in the Civil Aviation also who is exposed internationally to United Nations.

He continued to blame the investigation team was so lazy to find out when was the first call made ,that could have been the Genesis of faster response to the matters. He also said that it takes only 8 minutes From the fire brigade offices on Entebbe road to Makerere University  since the Vehicles  have a right of the way.

Julius also cautioned the Little knowledge by the fire fighters who didn’t  distinguish what type of fire was burning to enable easy truck spotting ,extinguishing agencies ensure fire doesnt spread to other parts.As a tall building ,

“Fighters should immediately arrive on the scene with king ladders on the firebrigades . Kampala as acity , shouldn’t rely on Police fire Brigades but rather Should set up the KCC fire Brigades on Stand by to respond to such fire incidents”. Otayi added.

He said he has not been consulted by any one since the disaster but he’s ready to respond to investigations while consulted .The aspect of  few fire fighters also caused more damages because  the building was supposed to be surrounded by many fighters like 6 trucks for easier extinguishing of fire.

“Back draft of fire caused by Ignition temperature and heat convection, conduction, Radiation that attached other remaining particles . This must have happened for the building to burn twice. This is normally done when the Fire fighters leave the scene earlier before Confirming safely and that’s an act of unproffessionalism.” Added the expertise knowledge.

The expert warned other institutions,schools as they re-open to allocate , train wardens in all corners to easily identify And guide all scenes In case of fire outbreak. also emphasized people who use electricity to always switch off all electric related objects to avoid such fire incidents.

Julius arged the government to start constant refreshers trainings annually ,young energetic because aging people cannot mount the trucks to extinguish fire in  large buildings like Makerere every year.

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