Losses in millions after fire burns Kibuye market in Kisumu

KISUMU: Traders at Kibuye Market in Kisumu are counting losses after fire razed down property worth millions of shillings on Thursday afternoon.

The inferno is said to have started from a hotel kitchen and spread to adjacent shops. Most of the kiosks were wooden while some were made of iron sheets making the fire to spread faster.

Rose Atieno, one of the traders who had her stall full of furniture said an explosion was heard moments before the fire broke out, and it is suspected to  have been an electrical fault.

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She said the fire then fast spread in the area and could not be contained by the traders who were present.

“The rate at which the fire spread was quite shocking. By the time the fire brigade arrived almost ten shops had been razed,” said Atieno.

With most of the traders saying they had stocked using bank and Sacco loans, they called on the county government to intervene and help them start off their businesses.

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‘I don’t have an insurance to cover up on what I have lost today yet servicing the loan is not optional,” she said.

Andrea Gila who owned a hotel and kiosk in in the area had retreated home when he got a call that his wares were on fire.

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The frail and infuriated Gila could not save a thing watched helplessly as the fire consumed the property to the last flame.

“I appeal to well wishers and the county government to come in and help us to start over again. Many of those who have been affected depended on these businesses as their only source of income,” said Gila.

The fire fighters in collaboration with the traders helped to extinguish the fire despite the wind which caused the fire to spread. Traffic police had to divert vehicles plying the Kisumu Kakamega route to avoid further disaster.

After a long struggle to put out the fire, the fire brigade ran short of water and left to get some more.

County Commander Nelson Njiiri who was at the scene of the incident said police will investigate the cause of the fire.

Kibuye market has been recording a number of fire incidences with the most affected parts being the carpentry and the clothes section. Residents attribute this to the congestion of business premises in the market.

“We are being told the fire started from a hotel while some claim it is a due to an electricity fault,” said Njiiri who thanked the fire brigade for a quick response.

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