St Bernard Fire survivors narrate ordeal:”The Attacker threw a bottle inside the dorm… then there was a big fire”
Rakai District School Fire Victims who survived yesterday narrated their ordeal about the fire that gutted their dormitory on Sunday night killing over 10 students instantly.
The fire at the boys’ dormitory for St. Bernard Secondary School left over 30 students injured and admitted to Kitovu hospital in a critical condition.
According to victims who happen to mostly be in senior three, the attackers opened one of the windows before pouring some liquid objects(expected to be petrol) inside the dormitory before lighting fire that caught the entire facility.
“We realised someone was pouring a liquid substance on us but we thought it was water. We protested the act arguing that it was wrong for him to pour water on us,” said one of the students in the dormitory.
We were used to keeping water near our beds, so this time round we thought someone was playing games on us by wetting our beds with water.
“Because we had just returned from watching a football match, we were tired and never minded. We just slept,” said one Ronald Sserunkeera.
Another victim narrated b“I was woken up by the heat and smoke. I tried to run to the door to force it open but it was locked. It is then that I collapsed due to smoke.”
Another student narrated that it was not long when the arsonist lit fire that gutted the entire dormitory.
“I heard someone throw a bottle inside the dormitory and shortly fire was seen engulfing the dormitory,” said one Moses Mugambwa, a senior three student.
According to police, it was an inside job because two padlocks were allegedly found on the door and it took the intervention of rescuers to cut them using an axe.
In a statement, the school management said there was a group of 11 students who had been suspended over indiscipline and asked to commute from home and these are suspected to have been behind the fire.
Locals also confirmed that the students had rented rooms in the nearby trading centre and were always seen frequenting cinema halls during times of school.
Police Conducts Arrests
On Monday morning police cordoned off the dormitory as a scene of crime to allow investigations into the matter continue without any interruption.
A total of eight people including five students, two teachers and the school warden were subsequently arrested by police to assist them in investigations into the matter.