Property valued at millions of shillings was destroyed on Sunday night after a fire razed Maathai Supermarket in Murang'a town.
The fire that broke out at 10.30 pm consumed all the goods in the mid-tier supermarket's branch that had closed for the day at 8 pm and all employees left for their homes.
It took authorities and members of the public until 4.30 am to put the fire out, with the local fire brigade calling for back up from neighbouring Kirinyaga and Kiambu counties.
Murang'a County Police Commander Josphat Kinyua said they had sought help from the neighbouring counties when they sensed the local firefighters were overwhelmed.
As efforts were made to battle with the fire, police were occasionally forced to fire in the air to dissuade looters who tried to break into the supermarket.
The looters first attempted to break into the rear door, before police spotted them and fired in the air.
A Kenya Power emergency crew was forced to cut off electricity supply in most areas of Murang’a town, to stop the fire from spreading into nearby buildings.
The Murang’a supermarket branch went up in flames, three months after it’s Ruiru branch suffered a similar fate with property valued at millions of shillings reduced to ashes.
Kinyua said investigations are on to establish the cause of the fire.
He added that the area will remain guarded by police, to pave way for in-depth investigations.
He said the police have collected samples that will be forwarded to government chemists to facilitate investigations.
Firefighters remained at the scene to save flare-up of fresh fire after smoke was spotted billowing after 9.30 am.