THE fire that gutted Liebenburg High School in Chivhu last month was caused by a matchstick that was lit by students, police in Mashonaland East have established.
Acting police provincial spokesperson Assistant Inspector Tendai Mwanza yesterday said investigations established that the fire was started by two Form Three students.
According to the police, after the students were picked up for questioning, they indicated that upon arrival at school on that particular day they went into a classroom whose door was not locked.
It was upon entering that one of the students lit a matchstick with the intention of putting the burning stick in her mouth.
However, she failed and the burning stick fell into a hole between the wooden floor tiles. The hole had some papers in it which started burning immediately after the matchstick was dropped. The students then took a bottle to the borehole where they fetched water with the intention of putting out the fire.
However, upon returning they found the whole classroom up in smoke before they alerted the authorities.
Mwanza also said during investigations, a safe containing burnt money was discovered.
“On May 16, the day after the incident, police found a safe in one of the buildings with an estimated $6 500 in it. However, the safe could not be opened since it was very hot. It was later opened, but only remains of charred money were found,” he said.
According to the police, the fire destroyed Form Three and Four classroom blocks, a laboratory, six teachers’ offices and a safe.