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KAPENGURIA INFERNO

Fire destroys stalls, vehicles in West Pokot

In Summary

• Police suspect an exploded gas cylinder or cooking stove caused the blaze.

• Many people nearly suffocated to death in the smoke

Some of the burnt vehicles in a yard at Kapenguria on Monday, March 25, 2019.
Some of the burnt vehicles in a yard at Kapenguria on Monday, March 25, 2019.
Image: MARYANN CHAI

A fire tore through businesses and the Kapenguria Stage on Monday night.

Some residents narrowly escaped death after choking on the smoke inside their houses during the 10 pm fire.

Three county vehicles and one national government vehicle were destroyed.

The cause was not immediately known, however, West Pokot subcounty police commander Julius Kymbule said they suspected a gas cylinder or stove explosion.

"The watchman told us the fire started from one of the hotels,” he said.

Business premises including M-Pesa shops, hotels food kiosks, salons and retail shops were destroyed.

Residents were unable to put out the fire.  They lacked water and used soil.

The fire brigade finally managed to put out the blaze.

Eliza Cherop said they were awakened by residents to find fire was consuming their shops.

“We were all sleeping when we heard neighbours shouting and after getting out we found our property burning,” Cherop said.

She said all her property was destroyed. "I have lost more than Sh400,000," she said. She had just gotten her business license.

Nominated MCA Elijah Kasheusheu urged the county to ensure there is a fire engine at Kapenguria town so it can respond quickly to emergencies.

Kasheusheu called on the county and national government to help the victims