More than 20 vendors operating businesses at Osukuru corner road side market along Tororo-Jinja highway are counting losses after fire gutted their stalls on Sunday night, destroying their property.
According to eye witnesses, the fire started at around 2:30 am and mysteriously destroyed over 20 stalls stocked with merchandize.
The fire is suspected to have resulted from charcoal stove that was unattended to.
Mr Sam Jingo, one of the affected vendors, says that they heard a big blast from the neighboring kiosk, prompting all vendors to converge in the fire assembly point.
He says that not much was saved as they fled to save their dear lives from the flames which destroyed merchandize especially; electronics, food items and beverages.
Ms Winnie Frida Mukite, another vendor who operated a salon shop says the fire brigade would have rescued some of the shops but the congestion in the market blocked firefighters from accessing the sites which were mostly affected by the fire.
“Our market lacks access routes as wooden kiosks and stalls are congested in one place which led to the quick spread of the fire,” she says.
Mr. Denis Olupot the area district leader says not all the merchandize was destroyed by fire but some of them were looted by the people who rushed to the scene in guise of assisting in the rescue.
He appealed to the police to investigate the cause of the fire as he challenged government through the ministry of disaster preparedness to see how the affected vendors can be supported because majority of them secured loans to set up their businesses and are still servicing them.