- Mbuyu Lodge owner Joyce Jepleting Renhard called on the President William Ruto, DP Rigathi Gachagua, and interior CS Kithure Kindiki to help the hotel owners get justice after the tragedy caused huge losses
Property worth millions of shillings were Wednesday reduced to ashes after a huge fire gutted down three resorts in Watamu tourism resort town of Kilifi county.
Several tourists were also injured as they tried to escape from the fire which reportedly began at Mbuyu lodge (formerly Mawimbi resort) before spreading to Barracuda resort and another neighbouring hotel.
The fire was reportedly caused by an electric fault which was experienced at Mbuyu lodge.
Many foreign tourists and businesses were affected by the fire considering it is in the wake of the high tourism season.
When journalists arrived at the scene, rescue efforts and evacuation were going on for tourists by Private safaris a tour company.
There were reports of mass looting and delay by the Malindi fire brigade in responding to the emergency.
When the fire engine of the county government of Kilifi arrived, it developed mechanical problems further complicating the process.
AT Barracuda the owner of the resort Buonasera Giuseppe told journalists that two tourists were injured and rushed to hospital but were in stable condition while the rest had been evacuated to nearby hotels.
Guiseppe said the fire started late afternoon and spread very fast due to the Makuti thatched roof affecting nearly 60 per cent of the resort.
He said staff and some locals tried to save the properties but others began looting which forced them to call for security to intervene.
“One of the looters hit me with a blunt object as we tried to chase them away but I am okay,” he said.
Giuseppe said the fire had caused a big loss which he could not immediately ascertain but revealed that he would embark on a reconstruction immediately so as to proceed with business.
He blamed the county government for failing to have an emergency responses team which would have saved the property.
Damaris Dame who works at barracuda said the fire had led to job loss as over 100 staff who were depending on the hotel for their livelihood are affected.
She however put in to take the county government's urge to ensure they have an emergency response to avoid such losses in future.
Joice Jepleting Renhard, who owns Mbuyu lodge, told journalists on the phone that she had incurred a huge loss and called on President William Ruto to help them get justice.
She had rented the hotel to an Italian businesswoman who was present at the hotel but was in shock and could not speak to the media.
Locals interviewed said the fire started in the afternoon and spread very fast because it was windy.
They all blamed the County government for failing to have an emergency response with their fire engines arriving late and with mechanical problems.