Traders in the main market in Garissa county count losses after a huge fire engulfed the market
A massive fire has razed down property worth millions of shillings at the main market in Garissa county famously known as "Suq Muqdi". The fire started at the wee hours of the night and swept through the market devastatingly destroying shops and other business premises. Speaking to the media in Garissa town, Garissa OCPD James Ngetich said police were alerted about a fire incident at around 2.30 am local time. Ngetich stated that they suspect the fire could have started from one of the hotels inside the market. “We were alerted on time but things happened so quickly. There was little we could do. It is a huge loss but our officers are on the ground to establish its cause,” the police chief said. Pictures taken from the market depicted hundreds of traders struggling to come to terms with the loss of their property with some seen standing contemplatively in the shells of what used to be their booming shops and stalls. Others were also captured embroiled in salvaging the remains of their iron sheets and other valuables. “I am confused I don’t know where to start. All my investment has been destroyed,” said Halima Mohamed, a vendor told standard newspaper. Locals blasted the county administration for bungling to invest in emergency services after the local firefighters took a long time to contain the fire and eventually ran out of water for extinguish. “If the fire department responded quickly, such losses would have been averted,” another trader said . This is not the first time the market that the largest market in Northern Kenya that houses more than 5,000 small-scale traders specialising in clothing, groceries, electronics, eateries, butchers and wholesalers is being reduced to ashes. The Traders in the market called on both the National and county government to come to their aid and help them resume and re-start their businesses. Authorities in the town said investigation to establish the cause behind the early morning inferno has been launched even as they called on traders to desist from speculations on what led to the blaze.