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Monday, 26 January 2015

Fire guts down building in Sipili town

By James Maina

A huge fire engulfed a building in Sipili shopping Centre, Ol-Moran Ward on Sunday afternoon.The building commonly referred to us “Kwa Maina Daktari” housed four business premises and residential houses.
Curious onlookers at the scene
Heavy smoke billowing from the burning building attracted residents who rushed to the vicinity with buckets,basins, jugs and anything that could hold water to try and extinguish the fire.The residents played a big part in controlling the fire which was threatening to spread to the neighbouring Eden Tea Hotel and Moses M. Kagwe Joy House.Owners of adjacent buildings were forced to evacuate their belongings as they feared that the fire would spread.
Several people, who arrived at the scene to assist in the rescue mission, were forced to demolish the roof of Eden Tea Hotel to prevent the fire from spreading to the hotel.

Eye witnesses said that it was not easy to put out the fire because the wooden structures, strong winds and lack of firefighting equipments aggravated the situation.The situation was only salvaged when a water truck arrived at the scene.
The affected premises included; a private clinic, a cereal store, fruit and yoghurt shop and residential houses. Businesses and livelihoods of the traders and their families have been badly affected as most of them were unable to salvage anything.
Some of the residents trying to extinguish the fire
“This has been a common occurrence in this area. Disaster management and preparedness mechanism to counter and control fire outbreaks have never been put in place here yet fire outbreak is a common occurrence in Sipili,” said Ephantus Ngatia, a concerned resident.
The cause of the fire which lasted for more than half an hour has not been established yet. It is a mystery that needs to be unruffled to the residents as each one gives out a different story from the other. No injuries were reported.
The Sunday fire outbreak adds to the grim statistics of fire incidences occurring frequently in Sipili. Though fire incidents have been on the rise in the area, nothing has been done to avert the same from happening in future.
The question that is now lingering in resident’s mind is what and how will the County government control or prevent any further fire outbreaks in the future. The residents are now calling on the Laikipia County Government to buy firefightingequipment’s as well as a fire truck to prevent future occurrence.
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