Burundi:  Pharmacy and food store caught fire near Bujumbura Central Market

Yesterday around 7:30 AM, the fire erupted on “Avenue du Marché” in Bujumbura city centre, nearby the Bujumbura Central Market which was burnt on 27 January 2013.

A drugstore, a food store, a sheet shop and a veterinary pharmacy have been seriously damaged while two others have been slightly burnt. “The fire firstly broke out in the drugstore “APTEKA” which was still closed and quickly spread over other shops”, says Onesphore Ndayisenga, the owner of the burnt veterinary pharmacy.

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Security forces arrived shortly after the incident. “We heard explosions inside the drugstore and alerted the civil protection police. If the police hadn’t intervened on time, several shops would have caught fire”, says Pastor Major, Representative of bus drivers working in the southern parking of Bujumbura the capital, met on the spot.

The owners of the lighted shops were in deep distress. “All of our goods have been damaged by the fire and we don’t know how we will survive”, says a mother of 5, who lost all of her sheets in the fire. She is among twenty other women selling sheets in one of the burnt compartments.

Nestor Ndikumugambi, the owner of the sheet shop says the loss is estimated at Burundian Francs  60 million, Iwacu reports.

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Pierre Nkurikiye, Spokesman of the Burundian police confirms that six compartments caught fire and calls on traders and other people to take out insurance for their goods or possessions.

“The fire was caused by a short circuit but has been immediately controlled by the police”, he says. Nkurikiye exhorts the population to learn how to handle the fire extinguisher to reduce losses.

Wilson Tangishaka in charge of electricity at Regideso says they are waiting for the expert’s report to confirm that the fire outbreak was due to the short circuit.

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