Update: Source of fire jailed two years
Local media portal, the Lusaka Times, has reported that the cause of Wednesday market fire in northern Zambia has been established.
It was caused when a charcoal trader left a brasier – large metal container in which coal or charcoal is burned; unattended as he went to offload charcoal that had been brought to the market.
The unnamed convict pleaded guilty to criminal negligence and was handed a two-year jail term with hard labour. Traders continue to count their losses from the rampaging inferno.
Original story of Wednesday August 30, 2017
Fire has gutted thousands of stalls and caused extensive damage at a market located in Zambia’s Copperbelt region.
According to local media portal, Mwebantu, the Kapalala market located in the town of Ndola has been burnt to the ground. The market is the main business center in the region.
The latest fire said to have started around 1 am on Wednesday comes barely months after City Market, the country’s biggest trading center located in the capital Lusaka, was also burnt down.
Even though the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, reports indicate that thousands of stalls in the market have gone up in flames.
Even as authorities move to bring the blaze under control, reports indicate that goods worth millions of kwacha – the Zambian currency – have gone up in flames.
The country is currently under a partial state of emergency imposed in the wake of similar fires targeting public installations in the southern African country.
Ndola City Council Town Clerk Wisdom Bwalya who was at the scene with the Mayor Mr. Amon Chisenga bemoaned the unfortunate incident which he said had caused incalculable losses to hundreds of traders.
“It pains us deeply to announce that almost the entire Kapalala market in Masala, Ndola has been gutted by a fire that swept through the trading place in the early hour of today,” Mr Bwalya said.
“The fire which is reported to have started around 01:00hrs was quenched by alert fire fighters with the help of local residents. I was at the scene from around 01:00hrs,” he is quoted by the Lusaka Times portal to have said.