The fire broke out around 5pm on Thursday in a building holding seized goods including TV sets, blankets and groceries, Zimbabwe’s Chronicle newspaper reported.
“The fire destroyed property worth US5m and the cause is not known for now. When the incident occurred there was no one inside and it was locked,” Beitbridge Civil Protection Unit spokesman Talent Munda reportedly told the newspaper.
“Most of the goods that went up in smoke were smuggled goods and those impounded by [Zimbabwe Revenue Authority] ZIMRA, and nothing was recovered as everything was burnt to ashes.”
The incident has exposed the border town’s lack of readiness for fires even though it is the busiest crossing point in sub-Saharan Africa.
Beitbridge itself has no fire station and fire engines had to be sent by the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe and from across the border in Musina.