“The smoke was all over the building, it was almost choking us. We broke down the door to the kitchen and realised that the smoke was coming in from the trash chute, but we couldn’t find the source of the fire or on which floor it had started.”-Nahashon Amoshe.
One safety threat that is often ignored in risk mitigation is fire. Fire is one of the most prevalent safety threats that we’ve recorded in our database over the past six months. We pride ourselves in having the best-trained guards in the business, and were it not for the quick action of five of our heroes in blue during a recent fire, we would be telling a completely different story. The five guards, Mwamisi, Nahashon, Galgalo, Shedrack, and Patrick, were recognised by Securex for their efforts in saving life and property when a fire broke out at Kenindia House, along Nairobi’s Loita Street.
This is their story:
“We reported to work as usual for our night shift and nothing seemed out of the ordinary,” Patrick explained.
“At around 6:10 pm, I noticed smoke seeping through from the kitchen. I immediately notified my colleagues and we broke down the kitchen door. We noted that the smoke was coming in from the trash chute, but we couldn’t find the source of the fire.”
The guards suddenly found themselves in a race against time as the smoke engulfed the entire building.
Their immediate priority became evacuating the building and notifying the Nairobi County Fire Brigade and the Securex Emergency Response Teams.
“We raised an alarm and evacuated the tenants from all floors of the building. One of us had already called the emergency back up,” Mwamisi revealed.
With everyone out safely and accounted for, the guards worked together to control the fire. They were forced to call upon all the skills they had acquired during their fire-fighting and disaster management training courses, working in tandem to manage the crisis and contain the fire within minutes.
“We were unable to identify the particular point within the trash chute that the fire had started. From our training we knew which type of fire extinguisher was appropriate, so we used the fire hose reel and inserted it through the chute on the 12th floor going downwards. We were then able to put out the fire within 15 minutes or so,” Nahashon said.
In regards to the possible cause of the fire, the team said that preliminary investigations pointed towards human negligence.
“We suspect that someone threw a cigarette butt or a matchstick that was still lit into the trash chute, causing the fire,” Nahashon added.
At Securex, we are very proud of the team for executing the disaster management training that they were taught upon being hired.
For Nahashon, this was the second time that his fire-fighting skills came in handy.
“This is the second fire incident of my 11 year career at Securex. A few years ago, I was posted at an industrial property in Mlolongo. One Sunday evening after I had just reported for duty, we noticed clouds of smoke coming from one of the godowns in the compound. As it turned out, the tyres inside had started burning. I took the initiative to call the Nairobi County Fire Brigade and with their assistance, as well as that of the Securex Emergency Response Team in the area, we eventually put out the fire.”
According to Senior Operations Manager at Securex, John Ogutu, the five not only put their knowledge into practice, but they also showed great courageousness, boldness, and solidarity.
“Lives could have been lost and property worth millions damaged were it not for their bravery, heroism, teamwork, and seamless coordination. This is what we are all about at the end of the day, helping people and saving lives.”
In comparison with Nahashon (11 years) and Mwamisi (16 years), Patrick’s career is still in its formative stages as he has been part of the Securex Family for only three years. While he said he has had plenty of good moments since joining Securex, this ranked as one of the best.
“Just as a first aider would feel good when he or she saves a life, we felt good because our training and quick response paid off. It’s a great feeling.”