PATRONS at Harare’s Raylton Sports Club woke up to the shock of their lives after they found the building they have called their recreational home for many years gutted by a fire. Property worth thousands of dollars was destroyed by the fire that was suspected to have been started by an electrical fault around midnight on Wednesday.
The top floor and the roof of the double storey building was extensively damaged and nothing was retrieved from the inferno. Fortunately, no one was injured.
The facility is owned by the National Railways of Zimbabwe. Sources said the guard who was on duty at the premise noticed the fire around midnight. The Fire Brigade was then called to the scene.
“We suspect that the fire started because of an electrical fault. Thank God no one was injured, but all the property in the top floors was burnt to ashes. Everything happened so fast and by the time the fire crew arrived, the flames were spreading to the other side of the building. They could not do anything because the fire engines had no water in them,” said the source.
Officials from the NRZ were not prepared to comment yesterday and they referred questions to their Bulawayo office. Raylton used to be CAPS United’s training ground for years. It was the home of the Green Machine when they finally won their first league championship after Independence in 1996. CAPS United officials used Raylton as their home when they welcomed hundreds of mourners who came to mourn their stars, Blessing Makunike, Shingi Arlon and Gary Mashoko, who perished in a car crash.
It is a place where Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa usually socialises with his colleagues.
Raylton is also home to Zimbabwe’s top karateka Samson Muripo, who uses it as his training base when he is in the country.