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Fire razes properties, stalls at Homa Bay market

The scene after a fire broke out at the Homa Bay town market on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. /ROBERT OMOLLO
The scene after a fire broke out at the Homa Bay town market on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. /ROBERT OMOLLO

Hundreds of traders and businessmen are counting heavy losses after a fire broke out at the Homa Bay town market.

The fire which started at 5 pm razed down several properties as the owners watched.

Some of the affected business premises included furniture workshops, clothing and shoe stalls, hardware shops as well as two posho mills among others.

The Jamia mosque and Hotel twin towers were also affected by the fire.

The hotel belongs to county secretary Isaiah Ogwe.

The fire spread quickly due to the strong winds in the area.

Some residents used twigs and buckets of water to try and extinguish the fire before a private water canter arrived.

The traders expressed their anger towards the county government over its lack of a fire engine.

Homa Bay town market association Secretary General Geoffrey Onduso decried the frequent cases of fires in the market.

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Onduso accused the county government of laxity over the purchase of a

fire engine.

He threatened to mobilise traders not to pay tax over the absence of a fire engine.

“We have frequent

fires in this market but the county government does nothing. Traders want to see a fire engine which they were promised,” Onduso said.

Trader Jack Nyambega protested saying they will stage demonstrations at county government offices should it fail to avail the fire engine.

Homa Bay county director of disaster management Eliud Onyango said they are working on modalities to buy fire fighting engines.

Onyango said they are doing an assessment to know that value of the property destroyed in the fire.

“We appeal for patience as the county government works on ways to bring the machine,” Onyango said.

County police commander Marius Tum said they have yet to establish what exactly the caused the fire.

“Preliminary investigations indicate the fire could have started through an electric fault but we’re still probing,” Tum said.

The police boss confirmed no life was lost in the fire.