KIGALI, March 31 (Xinhua) -- A massive fire on Friday morning raged through Kimironko prison in Gasabo District in the country's capital Kigali, injuring seven inmates.
The cause of the fire was not readily established. Property was destroyed by the inferno despite the fact that Rwanda police fire fighters immediately intervened to put out fire before gutting down all prison facilities.
Inmates were evacuated to separate facilities. Police, soldiers and prison guards surrounded the prison to ensure no inmate could take advantage to escape.
Speaking to reporters at the scene, George Rwigamba, Commissioner General Rwanda Correctional Services (RCS) said that seven people received minor injuries in the fire and inmates have been evacuated to a separate wing within the prison facility.
"No death has been recorded and no inmate escaped, however their properties including mattresses, hygiene materials among others were all destroyed," he added.
Rwigamba stated that those injured will be treated inside the prison adding that investigations are ongoing to find out the root cause of the fire.
The fire started at about 8:30 a.m. local time and spread fast to three prison cells, according to RCS authority.
Neighboring residents told journalists that they heard gunshots inside the prison when the fire broke out, however Xinhua could not independently verify this.
For the last three years, prisons like Muhanga (Southern Province) Rubavu (Western Province) and Nyarugenge (Kigali City) were gutted by fire with the latter having been burned last year in December.