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In a devastating incident that unfolded on Sunday morning, Toi market became a scene of chaos and despair as a massive fire tore through the premises, leaving countless traders reeling from significant losses. The blaze, believed to have originated from an electrical blow-up in one of the stalls around 1 am, rapidly spread to neighboring structures, exacerbating the scale of destruction.

According to eyewitness accounts, the security team at the market identified an electrical failure as the catalyst for the fire’s ignition. “The fire started around 1 am, and the security team has informed us that it was caused by an electrical failure,” revealed one trader in a statement to the press. Another affected trader, who arrived at the scene to witness the devastation, estimated that an astonishing 3,000 stalls had been reduced to ashes. Recounting the extent of the damage, the trader lamented, “I received a distressing call around 1 am, but due to the time, I was unable to reach the market. Sadly, my stall has been completely burnt down. I used to sell pillows, pillowcases, duvets, and various other items. Approximately 3,000 stalls have been affected by this tragedy.”

Upon receiving reports of the fire, the Nairobi County fire brigade swiftly mobilized its team to combat the raging inferno. However, their firefighting efforts encountered significant challenges due to limited accessibility caused by narrow roads and pathways that crisscrossed the market’s stalls. Frustrated traders, hoping to salvage their remaining stock, expressed their grievances as they witnessed the fire brigade’s struggle to access the affected areas. “They arrived and stopped on the road… there is no pathway to enter the market, and in most places, gates have been erected,” shared one trader who claimed to have been present at the scene.

Adding to the growing concerns, some residents alleged that despite the prompt arrival of firefighting trucks, the vehicles were inadequately equipped with water. “How can they bring trucks without water? I witnessed it myself. Three trucks arrived, but they informed us that they needed to source water from Nairobi Water,” highlighted a trader, casting doubt on the firefighting operation’s effectiveness.

In the wake of this calamity, affected traders are now calling upon the government to prioritize and implement comprehensive safety measures to prevent similar tragedies in the future. Their plea reflects the urgent need for improved infrastructure, such as wider access roads and enhanced water supply for firefighting purposes. By addressing these critical safety concerns, the government can help safeguard the livelihoods of traders and mitigate the devastating impact of such incidents on local businesses and communities.

The Toi market inferno serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerable conditions under which many traders operate and the crucial role that robust safety regulations play in protecting their businesses. As investigations into the cause of the fire are underway, it is imperative that authorities collaborate with relevant stakeholders to develop comprehensive disaster management strategies, ensuring the safety and well-being of all marketplaces in the regio

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