Sh42 million shops, cars razed in Thika
Firefighters were late as they were putting out another blaze in Ruiru. Traders say they will hire more guards to ward off arsonists
Property worth more than Sh42 million was reduced to ashes in a fire at Engen Juakali in Thika town on Sunday night.
The fire started at around 11pm and the Kiambu county firefighters came much later as they were putting out another fire in Ruiru, Engen Juakali Association chairman Joseph Irungu said.
He said three cars and two lorries under repair were burnt. Thirty kiosks and shops that sell vehicle spare parts and mattresses were also razed.
Addressing the press on Monday, he said the cause of the fire is yet to be established.
“There is no jiko that was lit and no one was working at night. We don’t know what caused the fire because many people don’t work on Sunday,” Irungu said.
“We want to increase our security guards so that they can be vigilant and look out for arsonists.”
Irungu said they will hold a harambee for the victims.
He urged Governor William Kabogo and well-wishers to help those who lost their property and source of livelihood.
“This is the third fire incident that we are reporting this year and we want the county officials to help us in proper planning of the juakali site so we can have proper pathways of access for fire engines and also to avoid the fire spreading easily to other kiosks,” Irungu said.
Anthony Kimani said he lost property and merchandise worth more than Sh4 million.
He said his personal vehicle was being repaired in one of the garages and his two kiosks that sell paint and spare parts were destroyed.
“I had only restocked last week. I have lost all that I had invested in my life., I am hurt emotionally, mentally and financially. I don’t know where to start,” an emotional Kimani said.
James Mwangi said he was called at 11pm and told his kiosk was on fire and he rushed to the site but could not salvage anything.
“I am a mechanic and in my store I had spare parts for customers, including engines and gearboxes. I don’t even know what to tell my customer,” he said.
Resident Rose Wanjiku was shocked and could hardly walk when she saw her life’s investment destroyed.
“I have stayed here for over 20 years. This is where I get my daily bread and raise my children,” she said.
“I urge Kenyans of good will to come and assist us.”
One of the lorries destroyed in the Sunday night fire in Thika town