Fire destroys 100 stalls at Gikomba market

March 13, 2012 8:41 am


Traders count their losses at the scene of Tuesday's fire/CAPITAL NEWS
NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 13 – More than 100 stalls were razed on Tuesday morning when fire engulfed a section of the Gikomba open air market in Nairobi.

The cause of the fire was not immediately established but police said they were investigating if it was an electric fault or if someone ignited the blaze due to business rivalry.

“There are various theories on what may have caused the fire; it is an open-ended investigation… we cannot ignore any version,” a police officer who visited the scene told Capital News.

No casualties were reported as a result of the inferno that destroyed property of unknown value.

Traders were counting losses on Tuesday as a contingent of police officers patrolled the area to maintain order.

Nairobi Provincial Police chief Antony Kibuchi urged anyone with information on the cause of the fire to contact the police.

The incident occurred less than 500 metres from the scene of Saturday’s grenade attacks which claimed the lives of seven people. Three of the blast victims died on spot while four others succumbed to injuries in hospital.

When the fire broke out on Tuesday morning, there was panic at the Machakos bus park as fire engines and ambulances with blaring sirens raced to the scene.

Roads around the market and a section of the bus park were closed temporarily to enable the fire fighters put out the inferno before it could spread to other stalls.

Cases of fire at the Gikomba open air market are common and are mostly blamed on electric faults or arson, according to police.

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