Huge blaze sweeps through Nairobi’s Toi market

A fire has swept through Toi market, one of Nairobi’s largest open-air markets, destroying property worth thousands of dollars, officials said.

 “We don’t have jobs, this was our only source of livelihood but we were not able to salvage anything. I request the governor to assist us so that we can start again,” local trader Steve Odhiambo told the Daily Nation newspaper.

Witnesses say the fire started at about 03:00 local time and clouds of smoke could be seen billowing from stalls used to store bales of clothing overnight.

A trader called Charlie Chaplin told BBC Swahili that he rushed to the scene after receiving a phone call informing him of the blaze.

Mr Chaplin said he lost thousands of dollars after his property was reduced to ashes. Many others traders said they were in a similar situation and do not know how they will recover from their losses.

The Daily Nation reported that the Nairobi county administration sent two fire engines to the area and by 09:00 local time they were still trying to extinguish the flames.