Arson suspected in CBD incident

2010-11-12 00:00

ARSON is suspected in a fire that destroyed part of a house which was about to be used as a Muslim school in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

The house in Knipe Street, between Langalibalele and Church streets, was empty when the fire started as about 7 pm. There was only an old mattress on the veranda.

A neighbour said tenants moved out last week as the house was about to be converted into a school, adding that she she suspects arson

She said that a day after the tenants had removed their belongings, she saw strangers breaking windows and doors. She saw one of the tenants entering and leaving the house at about 2 pm yesterday.

“These people had to move out for the house to be used as mosque school for the kids,” said the neighbour, who declined to give her name.

A firefighter at the scene said there are signs of arson.

“It looks like the fire was started on the mattress on the veranda before it spread into the house through the window. Even inside there are signs of a failed attempt to start the fire,” said the firefighter.

However, Morgan Finca, who claimed to be a security guard posted to guard the house, said there was no one inside.

“The fire started when I was sitting on the pavement. Neighbours called the firefighters who came to open the locked main iron gate.”

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