4 February 2013

Kenya: Fire Razes Chepalungu Shops, Homes

Property worth millions of shillings went up in smoke at Siongiroi trading centre in Chepalungu on Saturday.

A fire suspected to have been caused by an electric fault razed more than 17 shops, three hotels and five residential houses at the trading centre.

Five families were displaced in the 3am incident that saw members of the public battle the fire for more than six hours. Residents said the fire broke out in one of the shops after a blackout.

"The fire started immediately the power came back following a blackout in the night. It spread easily to other shops since there was no means to put it out," said a resident at the scene.

The residents said a strong wind helped the fire spread fast. They said no property was saved, since the fierce fire deterred would-be rescuers.

Bomet OCPD Henrietta Muyanje said nobody was injured in the incident in which police joined forces with residents to fight the fire. She said the cause of the fire was yet to be established. "We have launched investigations into the exact cause of the fire though at the moment we have conflicting reports from the public."

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