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Fierce fire leaves traders in anguish

07 February 2014, 15:27 Arap Yego

Bungoma - Property of unknown value was lost in Kaboywo Trading Centre in Mt Elgon Constituency, after several houses and business premises caught fire early Friday morning.

The 4am fire incident reduced to ashes over 10 buildings which were mainly wooden structures, leaving most of the occupants of the structures counting heavy losses after it emerged that most of them had stocked maize and beans in their houses.

Kaboywo, which is at the border of Trans-Nzoia and Bungoma Counties, is rich in agriculture and most of its residents practice maize farming.

According to eyewitnesses, the fire is said to have started in one rental house belonging to Moses Tiriongo, which is at the back of a Chemist, before spreading to other adjacent buildings. Tiriongo raised the alarm waking up his sleeping neighbours and subsequently preventing fatalities.

Kaptama OCS, Justus Njeru confirmed the incident and said police have already launched investigations to find out the cause of the inferno.

“We toured the scene early Friday morning together with the area DC, Mutisya Muli and the district security team. We have launched investigation to establish what really caused the fire,” said the police boss, who estimated the loss suffered by the residents to be over millions of shillings, as several bags of maize and beans got burnt.

Speculations were however rife in the area at the time of going to press, with residents relating the incident to the work of arsonists.

“A fire cannot start ‘accidentally’ at 4am, when we know people do not cook at that time of the night. Somebody might have started the fire,” said a resident who requested anonymity.

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