PROPERTY worth millions of kwacha has been destroyed in a fire at Chifubu’s Tambalale market in Ndola early today.
Four shops were affected in the fire whose cause is suspected electrical fault, according to Chifubu market chairperson Musonda Mushota.
He said electrical wiring in most stores at the market was illegally done, hence an electrical fault cannot be ruled out.
Mushota thanked fire fighters for the quick response, resulting in other properties being saved from being gutted.
“I can rule out that unknown people torched the shops.We have checked and established that it might have been started by electrical spark. At this market, we have a number of shop owners that have illegally and irresponsibly connected directly to main point of supply installed by ZESCO. Only four shops have been burnt and few shops adjacent ones were broken into to save goods and property. But the fire brigade team acted swifty; also ZESCO came through and disconnected the entire area,
He complained that the market had no neighborhood officers to provide security at the trading site.
Mushota said such personnel were critical as they could have alerted the fire office the time the fire started and property would have been saved.
He said the marketeers should look into ironing out issues which may cause similar incidences by putting up necessary measures.
Mushota described the development as unfortunate but asked traders to give room for the police to investigate the matter.
And witness Malambo Chuunga said he saw fire emanating from one of the shops which later spread to other shops.
He said some traders and people from the nearby neighborhood immediately began to fight the blaze with buckets of water but were over overwhelmed.
” I saw smoke coming from one of the shops and before we could help put it out, there was a huge fire. People came out to help but we failed to remove anything. But other shops were broken into and property was removed before the fire could spread,” said Chuunga.