Property worth millions of shillings was on early Sunday morning destroyed after an inferno razed premises belonging at least to five traders at Kulamawe on the outskirts of Isiolo town.
The affected traders said efforts by the residents to put out the fire bore no fruits as the inferno, razed down their business wares.
Mr Paul Mwenda, who owns a furniture workshop that was completely destroyed by the fire said he lost valuables worth more than Sh300,000, among them seats, beds, sofa sets and chairs.
Mr Mwenda added, KCPE certificates belonging to his two children were also burnt down in the Friday night incident.
Ms Immaculate Wanja, whose mother’s food kiosk was also razed, said the traders were overwhelmed by the inferno and helplessly watched as their premises were consumed by the fire.
“When we called for help, the fire department that is about two kilometres away said they were not in a position to help as the fire engine had no water and driver,” said Ms Wanja.
The victims appealed for assistance from the Governor Mohamed Kuti’s administration as they have no other source of livelihood.
The traders demanded that fire services be streamlined to prevent such losses in future, adding that having a fire engine with no standby driver and water was useless.
“Is there need of having the engine if it cannot help us?” Mr Mwenda posed.
The traders hit out at the county government for failing to swiftly respond to fire cases, saying increasing incidents are being reported each day but the department either fails to appear or appears while damage has already occurred.
They want the county to ensure the fire engine is operational, saying it is unfortunate that they continue suffering while millions of shillings had been used to procure the fire engine and hire personnel.
“More fire engines should be procured to ensure quick response to fire cases. The department should also show some seriousness in responding to distress calls from the public,” Mr Boru Hassan said.
It is suspected that the fire was caused by an electric fault, though police are yet to issue a statement over the incident.