Fire has gutted Zomba flea market in the wee hours of Wednesday, destroying some shops to ashes and properties worth millions of Kwacha.
According to Zomba City Council officials, preliminary assessment shows that the fire resulted from an illegal electricity connection.
Zomba City Council public relations officer Mercy Chaluma said the fire which started at around 4 am on Wednesday emanated from one of the cellphone repair shops in the market.
The shop was supplied power using an illegal extension through a 1.5mm2 household twin wire.
Explained Chaluma: “We believe someone had left his appliances on and when the electricity power was back on, it caused heat on the appliances which then started the fire.”
Chaluma further said evaluations to find out the real cost of the damage is still ongoing but was quick to point out that one of the shops had electrical appliances worth over K6 million “and almost all the goods in that shop have been razed down”.
She hailed the fire brigade for reacting swiftly to contain the fire adding that it could have spread further.
“The damage could have been extensive but our fire department was there on time and managed to put out the fire,” she added.
Authorities are currently assessing the damage to come up with amount of damaged property.