Traders in Busia are counting losses after a fire broke razed the town’s Jua Kali market on Wednesday night.
Busia Jua Kali Association Secretary Doris Otieno told Journalist on Thursday that the Wednesday 11pm fire which gutted furniture workshops, businesses and at least three garages was caused by a faulty electricity line.
“I was called at 11.10pm that fire had broken out at the market. I rushed here and found police already at the scene. Firefighters delayed to respond and when they finally reached at around 3am they had to re-fill water three times to manage the fire which started from the workshop of one of our members, Crispin Owino, a welder.”
She appealed to Governor Sospeter Ojaamong to order that firefighting equipment be stationed at Busia Police Station for easier access.
“We want a place where we can easily call the OCS whenever we have emergencies in town. We could have saved a lot if the engine reached early,” said Ms Otieno who is also the Chairperson of the town’s community policing committee.
A mechanic, Benson Omondi, said a security guard called him at 11:30pm informing him that fire had broken out. He rushed to the scene and called Ms Otieno to notify firefighters who took about three hours to arrive.
“Fighters came here at around 2:30am after it had reduced everything to ashes,” he said.
Mr Omondi added that they lost five cars that had been brought for repairs among other heavy duty machines.
Busia OCPD Evelyn Korir said they are contacting affected traders to record statements.
She said they are yet to establish the value of properties lost.