FORT PORTAL, UGANDA: Property worth millions of shillings was left destroyed to ashes in a fire outbreak that ravaged at Kabudaire market in Fort Portal City, Western Uganda.
The fire whose cause was yet to be established is said to have started at about 5 am on Wednesday morning from one of the charcoal and wood kiosks at the market facility before spreading to the others nearby.
By the time some vendors arrived, most of their merchandise had been burnt to ashes despite the police and fire brigade responding to contain the fire.
Ms Jackline Tuhaise, a vendor at the market selling firewood and charcoal, said she had just stocked up on charcoal from a bank loan but she is now stranded after everything was burnt into ashes.
“I borrowed money from the bank to ensure I have enough stock, at home I am the sole breadwinner, I don’t know where to start from, I request the government to come to our rescue and give us some startup funds,” she said.
The Market Chairman, Mr Steven Lubega, said kiosks were burnt into ashes and one suspect has been arrested to aid police in establishing what triggered the devastating fire incident.
“A cargo carrier came to the market early in the morning to ease himself at someone’s kiosk. He was chased away by the owner who slept in there. A few minutes later the fire started. We suspect he could be behind this fire,” he said.
For more than a decade now, the town council of Fort Portal Central has depended on Kabudaire market as a major source of revenue and also the main source of goods and services for the local community.
This vibrant marketplace located along Kabudaire-Saka road on the outskirts of the Fort Portal central business area is home to a diverse array of traders, offering charcoal, firewood, local brews, and food such as chapatti and pork joints.
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