About Shs900m lost in Toyota fire

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By Christine Kasemiire

At approximately 4PM on Sunday, the showroom of car dealer, Toyota, at the Kampala offices caught fire that cost the company an estimated Shs900m.

Mr Pieter Ovebeek, the general manager Toyota revealed that the company had suffered a loss of three motor vehicles and three motorcycles roughly bringing it to a cost of Shs900m.

“A rough estimate because we still have assessors evaluating the situation; it is about Shs800m-Shs900m,” he said during a press briefing at their offices on Monday.

Mr Ovebeek added that they would only give exact figures after a report from investigations is revealed.

Damaged property included a Land Cruiser Prado estimated to cost $90,000,(Shs343m); Land Cruiser Double Cabin Pickup costing $70,000(Shs267m); a Toyota Fortuner costing $65,000 (Shs248m); workstations and furniture among others.

While police and independent investigations into the cause of the fire are still ongoing, Mr Ovebeek said a quick analysis after the fire was contained indicated that the cause could have been an electrical short circuit.

The fire was contained an hour into the debacle as security company KK as well as neighbours alerted the fire department who arrived at the scene within the shortest time possible.

“The fire was contained within the showroom by the gallant men and women of the fire services department at about 5p.m,” Ovebeek said.

Head of human resource at Toyota, Mr Paul Rumanda Rugambwa, said there were no employees at the time.

Compensation

The cars which appeared to be in a deplorable state according to Mr Rumanda, will be scrapped after an assessment on whether or not they could cause harm to human lives once on the market.

“They will be scrapped and we shall not sell them. We have to first ensure they are safe,” he said, adding that while one is burnt out and written off, “the others might have minor damages and we are not sure of what has affected them. We have to do a full inspection and scrap the vehicles,” he said.

Asked about any compensation procedures, Mr Ovebeek said the company is insured by a pool of insurers whose assessors were at the scene on Sunday to make their independent report that will be used to determine Toyota’s viability for a claim.

Mr Ovebeek said while it might take a while to repair the place, the company expects to get back to full operations tomorrow as there was no visible damage to their main computers.

Toyota offices elsewhere, he said, are not affected.

Mr Ovebeek also said that mitigation measures will be put in place after discovering the cause of fire.

Monitor.co.ug

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