Meru market fire displaces 35 households

Barely a month after another Blaze in same market, MCA wants cases probed

In Summary

• Arson suspected, blaze was second in a month. 

• Residents to record statements to aid probe. 

Remains of VEHICLE razed by inferno at Ngusishi market on April 20
NOTHING LEFT: Remains of VEHICLE razed by inferno at Ngusishi market on April 20

Fire raced through Ngusishi market in Buuri, Meru county, on Saturday night three weeks after another blaze at the same market. 

MCA Joy Karambu told the Star that the market fires have become notorious and need thorough investigations. 

The cause was not immediately known, nor was the amount of property destroyed when it broke out at 3am.

But police suspected arson.

“People may suffer because there are no government offices open on holidays. I have provided them with foodstuff as a precautionary measure. We are from a meeting with administrators, affected families and church leaders to establish s the cause and have agreed that all of the 35 household owners write a statement,” she said.

Residents and traders who are among the 35 households who lost property are appealing to well-wishers, the Red Cross and county government to help them start their lives anew.

David Kithinji told the Star they could not salvage anything from their houses and looters ran amok.

“I could not save anything from my house. What I had removed outside, when I returned to the house for more, it was taken away and the fire was spreading fast,” he said.

The cause of the fire is yet to be established as administrators suspect foul play. The fire consumed property, a car, crucial documents, food and household items.

Ngusishi Chief Gitonga Geoffrey said containing fires in the market is a challenge as most of the houses timber. 

"The fire broke out at 3am. Nothing was rescued and slight injuries were suffered during extinguishing. We have authorised them to write statements to help us know the cause of the fire,” Gitonga said.

On March 19, more than 100 families spent the Sunday night in the cold after their houses were razed by fire at Ngusishi. Nothing was salvaged from the timber houses either

The cause of that first fire was not established either. Some witnesses had said it started from a transformer explosion but others said it was caused by a burning stove in one of the houses. 

Benson Murithi, one of the victims, said it was sad to spend years of hard work and then lose everything within minutes.

Ngusishi senior chief Jacob Marete had advised landlords to build stone houses to avoid fires.

(Edited by R.Wamochie)