JINJA – Jinja Town was on Tuesday morning the scene of pain, tears and frustration after traders lost millions of shillings in property that was gutted by fire in Madhvani Market.
Traders at the scene said the fire started at around 2 am and burnt half of the market to ashes.
The traders said the Jinja Police fire brigade was unable to extinguish the fire because they lacked enough water, which allowed the fire to spread until fire brigade from Kakira came and saved a section of the market on Gokhale Road from being burnt.
It was not immediately clear what caused the fire but the Jinja Central Division Councillor, Mr Zein Abdullah, said it could have been started by electrical appliances which had not been switched off on Monday after a power outage.
“So when the power came back, it just sparked off (the inferno). I rushed to the scene after a security officer guarding the market made an alarm,” he said.
The police have embarked on investigations to ascertain the cause of the fire.
This is not first time fire guts markets in Jinja. In May, the Business community of Loco slum in Jinja central division lost property and businesses after a fire burnt nearly 100 kiosks that house several retail shops, restaurants, and other wooden residential makeshift structures.
In June last year, property worth millions of shillings was destroyed in a fire which gutted part of Buwenge Central Market in Jinja.
In October 2016, fire gutted Napier market, leaving vendors in tears. Most of the vendors had borrowed loans to set up their businesses. This was the third time Napier market which sits on 3-4 acres piece of land was getting burnt, with the latest being in January 2012.