OVER 200 makeshift stalls and merchandise worth hundreds of Kwacha have been reduced to rubble after fire swept through a section of Chamboli Market in Kitwe on Sunday.
Kitwe City Council spokesperson Dorothy Sampa confirmed the incident and said part of the market went up in flames around 19:00hours.
Ms Sampa said the inferno swept through part of the market hosting stalls for hair-salons, restaurants, tailoring and second hand clothes.
“Among the stalls that were located within the section where the market was on fire were five salons and seven restaurants,” Ms Sampa said.
She said the Kitwe City Council fire brigade team with the help of their Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) counterparts responded swiftly and managed to quench the inferno before it could spread to other parts of the market.
Ms Sampa said the local authority suspected the fire was caused by a blazer that was left in one of the restaurants in the market around the gutted section.
Some of the affected traders told the Times of Zambia yesterday that the inferno started from one of the restaurants where they first spotted flames of fire burning on top of the roof.
Evelyn Chisanga, one of the affected traders, said within a short time, the inferno spread and the whole section housing stalls for second hand clothes, restaurants, tailoring and hair-salon was also on fire.
She said while the market was on fire, some unscrupulous people took advantage of the situation to loot goods, particularly iron sheets from the affected stalls.
Times of Zambia