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Fire burns down four tourist hotels in Malindi

By Nehemiah Okwembah | March 13th 2021
Parts of the Oasis Village burned down in Malindi town on Saturday, March, 13, 2021. Property worth millions of shillings was destroyed in the inferno. [Nehemiah Okwembah, Standard].

Properties worth millions of shillings were destroyed today after a fire broke out at four tourist properties in Malindi town.

The early afternoon fire whose cause is yet to be known burnt down part of the famous Coral Key Hotel, the Coral Key B Apartments, the Oasis Village and the Park Marina Estate.

Confusion, anger and grief engulfed residents of the properties as many tried to salvage the little they could. The apartments are inhabited mostly by Italian nationals and their Kenyan spouses.

According to the manager of Park Marina Estate Ronald Charo, he lost all the 15 houses and several vehicles belonging to tourists who have bought apartments and occasionally visit for holidays.

“We lost 15 houses at Park Marina and the fire started at Oasis village and spread so fast to the neighbouring premises, we tried to seek help at the Malindi fire station but they told us their vehicles were not in working condition and assured us of reinforcement from Kilifi town,” he said.

Charo also said that many people will lose jobs as a result of the fire and called on the government to intervene and compensate them.

Mohamed Shelali who witnessed the fire said that the inferno started at around 12 noon but three hours later the fire fighters had not arrived adding that the fire could have been contained at the apartment where it broke out had the fire engines arrived on time.

Help came in minutes past 3 pm when fire engines from the Malindi International Airport and those from the Kilifi County government but 90 per cent of the properties were already in ashes.

"Efforts to extinguish the fire were futile since the roofs were too high and the fire brigade arrived late after the fire had already spread to neighbouring houses and villas," he said.

Police also had a rough time to control the crowd that turned out to witness the incident, and arrested dozens of youths for looting properties inside the burning villas.

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