Fire has burned the Priests’ rectory at St Carol Lwanga Major Seminary Segerea in Dar es Salaam Archdiocese on January 15, 2019.
According to the Rector of the Seminary Rev. Fr. Tobias Ndabhatinya, the cause of the fire is an electric shock that occurred after an electrical discharge occurred.
"It is our custom every Wednesday evening we meet for recreation. As we were proceeding with recreation, suddenly we sensed smell of something burning, and after a few seconds, we heard a sound like an explosion of a thing.”
“Then we saw fire that had started to burn the first floor, where our rooms are located. We called upon the assistance of our students the seminarians to come and help those who were trapped in the rooms to come out. Then we contacted the Fire Brigade who came to put off the fire, "he said.
He explained that the fire completely burnt down all the 14 bedrooms of priests and no property was saved from the fire, and that luckily no one was injured or died in the accident.
He thanked the seminarians for their boldness, intelligence and commitment to save their formators from the fire.
He said the seminarians were able to save the seminary cars by pushing them; some even lifted and carried the cars by their hands so that they don’t get burned. He also thanked the neighbors who gave helped during the fire tragedy.
After receiving the fire breakout news at the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), the bishops who at that time were undergoing a training had to temporarily break from the program to go witness the damage at the seminary.
Speaking on behalf of TEC, the Vice-President of Tanzania Episcopal Conference Rt. Rev. Flavian Kassala said he is sorry for the priests and the seminarians who were left without clothes and other basic needs like teaching tools.
"On behalf of TEC I give my sympathy to the priests and all seminaries for this accident,” he said while thanking God that everyone was safe.
“We have seen and have witnessed how the fire has consumed the building but we ask you to be calm while other issues are being worked upon by your Bishops,” he said.
He said the Bishops will convene an emergency meeting to see how they can immediately provide accommodations and other needs that requires immediate support for the priests who are left with only the clothes they were putting on that day.
He too congratulated the Seminarians for their self-sacrificing spirit to save the lives of the priests and other properties like the cars.
The Bishops are requesting donation to the seminary from Christians and other people of good will including Church partners so that they may be able to rebuild the burnt structure and replace other properties that were burned so that the seminary may go back to normalcy in the shortest time possible.