Malawi fire accident guts down 10 shops, 4 houses

A fierce fire has burnt to ashes about 10 shops stocking assorted merchandises at Neno District’s main market in southern Malawi, but no casualty has been reported.

Police suspect the fire started from a take away shop whose owner is believed to have forgotten to douse after use on Saturday night.

Neno Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Raphael Kaliati said some well wishers rushed to the scene to put off the fire before it stretched to other buildings.

The fire is reported to have destroyed assorted items including kitchen utensils, building materials, groceries, food stuffs and clothes.

However, one of the affected shop owners told Nyasa Times he suspected foul play.

“I suspect the fire was deliberately started by someone who wished us bad, I know of some people but I cannot reveal them here,” he claimed, adding that he had lost an estimated K300 000 in the inferno.

“In addition, I have lost all my important documents which I was keeping in the shop, I don’t know where to start from now, I cannot explain the pain I am in now,” lamented the visibly exasperated businessman.

However, the estimated cost of all the articles and goods lost in the incident is yet to be established after an assessment by the shop owners and officials from the district commissioner.

And a few kilometers away, another fire has also gutted down four grass-thatched houses belonging to an elderly woman identified as Catherine Goliati.

The incident happened at Chinkhali Village in the area of T/A Dambe in the district.

According to eye witnesses, the fire was accidentally started by a woman who was preparing her garden not far from the houses.

Among other household items, Goliati said the fire burnt to ashes her K250 000 cash which she was keeping in one of the houses.

The value of the destroyed property was not immediately established at press time.

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