Families displaced as fire razes down Kijiji slum
Hundreds of families spent Sunday night in the cold after their houses were razed down by huge fire that engulfed Kijiji slum in Langata estate, Nairobi.
Residents said the fire started just after 8pm and quickly spread, leaving hundreds of families homeless.
Four fire extinguishers which arrived at the scene were not able to access the estate as it is congested.
The fire extinguishers also ran out of water and did not return to the scene after they left.
According to eye witnesses, the cause of fire could not be established.
“The fire seemed to be exploding from different spots and efforts by residents to stop it from spreading were futile,” said Mr James Mutua, one of the residents.
Mothers with small children sat by the road watching their houses go up in flames as the fire speedily continued to spread.
Several houses and entertainment and shops were among those that were burned down by the fire.
Residents said they have lost property worth thousands of shillings in their houses and businesses.
Vehicles from the county government arrived at the scene but area residents expressed their anger with governor Mike Sonko’s government’s failure to respond in time.
Nearly three quarters of the residents were not able to rescue their house hold property and belongings.
“I had just arrived home from work when I saw a huge fire from the far end of the slum, but before I could get into the house and secure some of my property, the fire had already started consuming the roofs,” said Ms Mary Onyango, a resident.
Residents feared that they were casualties in the fire inferno.
Some residents complained that they were yet to locate their children but hoped that they were safe.
“When the fire began everyone was running for their safety and in the process some people do not know where their children are. We hope they are safe,” said another resident.
Police at the scene said they were not able to ascertain if there were no casualties and asked residents to stay calm down until investigations are done.
When contacted, Langata OCPD Elijah Mwangi did not respond to queries from the Nation.