A Crawley resident escaped serious injury after a fire broke out at the hotel he was staying at while on holiday.
Bharat Lukka, a commercial brand manager with Argus, was staying at the White Sands Hotel at Jangwani Beach, north of Tanzania’s capital city Dares Salaam last month when a fire swept through the resort, destroying a quarter of the property, including the restaurant, bar and reception.
Lukka, who was there to attend the wedding of his friend’s daughter, escaped unharmed. The 58 year-old believes it was his faith in God that helped him escape, as the fire had spread quickly due to strong winds from the beach.
“I’m a religious person and I believe I was truly blessed that day,’’ Lukka, a trustee of Sanatan Mandir in Crawley, told Eastern Eye. “Just that morning I had gone to a Hindu temple and I was blessed by the priest there.’’
After returning from the temple, Lukka had planned to go take a nap. But he changed his mind at the last minute. Had he stuck to his original plan, he would have been stuck inside the resort when the fire started and there was no guarantee he would have escaped, he believes.
Lukka was sitting at a water fountain outside the hotel’s administration block when he noticed the fire. According to him, the fire was the result of a barbeque mishap. “I think someone was putting something on a barbecue and the flames had gone up to the thatched roof of the hotel,” said Lukka.
At first it looked like it was under control, but it soon spread and raged for almost four hours. “The worst part was not knowing if there was someone trapped inside, but thankfully there weren’t any casualties,” Lukka added.