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Fire guts Leopard Matches factory

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Fire gutted part of Leopard Matches Limited factory in Blantyre Monday.

The fire, which reportedly started from the chemical mixing section, destroyed the chemicals which the company uses when making match stick heads.

The fire reportedly started with a spark when the employees were moving around tins of the chemicals.

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One of the employees Godfrey Malunga said he saw a spark when he was moving tins of the chemicals.

“The tins were full so I was moving the chemicals to the other tins. It was a small spark but it caught the other chemicals and a huge fire broke out.

“I failed to escape because the closest door to me was locked. The fire started close to the door which I and my colleague used to come in but he managed to escape. We had to break a door and I escaped using a very small space. I was very weak. If I had stayed there five more minutes, I could have died,” he said.

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The Daily Times found fire brigades and well-wishers putting out the fire.

Leopard Matches Production Manager, Arif Shakih, could not say the value of the damage the fire had caused saying he needed more time.

He hailed the fire brigade from Blantyre City Council saying they arrived on time to contain the fire.

“We will try to get the chemical mixing area back as soon as possible because without this, there is no way we can manufacture matches,” he said.

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