TORORO – Several traders are in tears and counting losses after the fire razed down stalls in Tororo market last night [Tuesday night].
The fire is reported to have started at around 11:30 pm and was still raging at 7 am as the police continued to contain the fire.
Fire brigade rushed to the ground to put off the fire as hundreds of traders watched from a distance as police deployed to block entry to the burning section of the market after realizing that some of the thugs were using the advantage of the confusion to steal property that was being rescued.
The extent of damage caused by the fire in the burnt section of the market has not yet been established. Some traders told this newspaper they lost goods worth millions of shillings that they appeal to the government through its ministry of disaster preparedness to come for their rescue.
Mr. Ahmed Waiswa a trader at the affected section of the market said they were in shock since the fire caught them by surprise.
‘’The extent of damage caused by this ire is big because some of the properties got burnt completely and this was my stock and I don’t have anything to start with and mark you I was servicing a loan’’ he said.
Peter Langalanga Okolong the chairperson of the market vendors and the business association said much as the extent of damage has not been established, literally, the blaze has greatly affected them because most of the traders had loans which they have not paid and the majority of them have not insured their business.
‘’What you see burning is their capital and am not sure that some of them will come back to business if no support is extended to them to resume business’’ he said.
Traders in the other part of the market that was not affected resumed business as usual and had high praise to the emergency response unit of the police, saying that the fire engine arrived shortly after the inferno was reported though it was not able to rescue some of the merchandise.
The district police commander Superintendent of police Rogers Chebene said they were called at midnight and found civilians battling fire that had already burnt several stalls.
He said the cause of the fire has not yet been established they have initiated an investigation to ascertain its cause.
He appealed to traders to always ensure that lit fires are put off as they close their business in the evening because there are possibilities that one trader could have left burning charcoal stove as its being reported that some of the traders cook in their stalls. Chebene added that no life was claimed and no one sustained injuries.