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Kenyan traders lose property in fire

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 28 – Property worth hundreds of thousands of shillings was on Monday morning destroyed when three clothing stalls caught fire at Imenti House in the centre of Nairobi.

Fire fighters stationed a few meters away were swift in putting off the 8am inferno and prevented it from spreading to adjacent stores.

Central divisional police Chief Richard Muguai said the blaze started as the caretaker was opening the stalls for business.

“As he was in the basement he just heard a bang and one of the stalls at the entrance was on fire,” he said.

The caretaker had finished opening doors to the ground floor and was in the basement when the fire started, immediately he switched on the main electric switch of the building.

Most of the Stall owners were waiting outside to open business and nobody was injured in the incident.

“We do not know for sure what caused the fire but we are going to investigate,” the city police chief said.

Several stall owners said they suspected the fire could have resulted from an electric fault.

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The fire is the third in the building this year, and stall owners are raising concern over the safety of their businesses.

“How comes this house catches fire thrice on different sections? A stall owner wondered. “May be there is something we are not being told here.”

Two hotels in the building caught fire earlier in the year causing similar loses. The fires have raised suspicion as they only ‘strategically’ destroyed the two hotels.

“It’s a very old building and maybe there is power surge because guys are consuming more than they need and the wiring is not that good. It must be electrical,” another stall owner who did not wish to be named asserted.

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