Fifteen people are feared dead and several others injured after fire gutted down property worth millions of shillings in Nairobi’s Gikomba Market.
The fire is reported to have started at 2 AM on Thursday spreading fast to the stalls and residential flats in the area.
Witnesses who spoke to Ghetto Radio accused the caretaker of a particular flat that caught fire of closing the gate to block people from stealing leading to the deaths.
“The caretaker refused to open the gate saying that he is locking out suspected thieves who might take advantage of the situation and steal from people,” said an area resident.
“We had to wake up those who were asleep by hitting their doors using stones. We even attempted to save one woman through the window but we couldn’t. Fire caught her and she was the first one to die.
The witnesses claims were also reiterated by Nairobi Senator Johnstone Sakaja who visited the scene on Thursday afternoon.
“There are those who locked in houses… those are our brothers, sisters and mothers and it is very sad,” said Sakaja.
Nairobi Regional Commander William Thuku stated that most of the victims died after inhaling smoke.
About 70 casualties are receiving treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital and Mama Lucy Hospital with 15 people having being confirmed dead.
A command center has been set up and the affected people are urged to register their losses at the various desks.
The government has pledged to ensure all affected individuals financial aid by paying their medical bills until they are fine.