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October 17, 2018

Sarit Centre reopened after fire, safety assured

A banner message at Sarit Centre in Nairobi following its reopening after a fire, May 17, 2018. /NANCY AGUTU
A banner message at Sarit Centre in Nairobi following its reopening after a fire, May 17, 2018. /NANCY AGUTU

Drinks, cookies and biscuits were served at Sarit Centre's reopening on Thursday following a fire that destroyed some sections.

Uniformed women welcomed Nairobians to the mall as part of the show of hospitality by management.

"This is to welcome our customers back and make them feel safe shopping here," one said.

A woman serves snacks at Sarit Centre in Nairobi following its reopening after a fire, May 17, 2018. /NANCY AGUTU

A banner read: "We are working tirelessly to restore this area and give you a complete shopping experience as soon as possible. We sincerely thank you for your prayers, support and good wishes."

Ten stores were not open - Bata, Twiga Car Hire and Tours, Copy X'press, Shah Chemists, Africolour Labs, Mocca, Truworths, Kenya Power, SWS Aculaser Weight Loss Institute and Beauty Quest.

An AAR clinic, a Multi Choice store, coffee shops and furniture showrooms are among the outlets in the building. Carrefour supermarket took over the ground floor space once occupied by cash-strapped Uchumi supermarket. 

Nairobians converse at Sarit Centre following its reopening after a fire, May 17, 2018. /NANCY AGUTU

Nairobians at Sarit Centre following its reopening after a fire, May 17, 2018. /NANCY AGUTU

The May 4 fire resulted from a faulty photocopying machine at the Copy X'Press store on the ground floor.

Witnesses said attendants attempted to put it off using a hand-held fire extinguisher but that this ignited the flames.

Mitchel Rikta, a tenant at the mall in Westlands, said Copy X'Press managers took swift action but that the situation got out of control. An alarm was sounded and tenants and shoppers evacuated from the building.

The extent of the loss was not established immediately but damages ran into hundreds of millions.

More on this: Traders count losses after Sarit Centre fire, county weaknesses exposed

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