Makerere University’s main building, the Ivory Tower, caught fire in the wee hours of the Sunday morning.
The fire spread and covered all floors of the right side of the building.
“The Main Building – Ivory Tower has caught fire. The fire brigade is on ground. The Police Fire Brigade is trying to put out the fire which has now covered almost half of the roof. It’s a trying moment for us,” reads a post from the university social media pages.
“Everyone is trying their best. The fire is heavy and sprouting from the right side of the Building. The fire flames are heavy coming through right side of the roof which has sunk in. We all need to pray for the Ivory Tower,” the post reads further.
The University Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe said the the fire caused unbelievable destruction.
“It is a very dark morning for Makerere University. Our iconic Main Administration Building caught fire and the destruction is unbelievable. But we are determined to restore the building to its historic state in the shortest time possible,” Prof Nawangwe said in a Facebook post on Sunday morning.
The building with its unique 20th-century British architectural designs is one of the university’s oldest structures, the signature symbol of Uganda’s oldest and biggest university. It was completed in 1941 with funding from the Colonial Development Bourse.
It houses several offices including the university’s main hall, university printery and vice chancellor’s office. The building also holds student records, and the basement is full of archive files spanning the whole history of the institution according to historian Derek Peterson, who says he was intending to organise.
Meanwhile Police have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire.
“Police are actively investigating a fire outbreak at Makerere University Main building that started today at about midnight. Fire and rescue services responded at the scene and managed to contain it’s spread .
The fire is believed to have started from the roof spreading to floors that house both records and finance departments , a lot of property has been destroyed . Investigations are ongoing to ascertain the exact cause of the fire,” Police said in a statement on Sunday.
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