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The Homa Bay County government’s ability to combat disaster was on Wednesday put to test after fire broke out next to a hotel owned by a top government official.

The fire, whose cause was not immediately established, consumed unknown number of stalls next to Homa Bay Town’s Twin Towers Hotel.

The fire, which started at around 5 pm, spread quickly to adjacent stalls, at the Homa Bay main market and some classes at the town’s Jamia Mosque.

Some residents used the opportunity to loot clothes and shoes from the burning stalls before officers from the Homa Bay Police Station intervened.

Youths, who used fire extinguishers and buckets of water had difficulties in trying to put out the fire that was fanned by strong evening winds.

Workers at the two-storey building were ordered to relocate electronics, bedding and other items to safer rooms.


Motorists, whose cars were parked at the hotel basement, rushed to save their vehicles from being consumed by the fire.

A county government vehicle had to be lifted from the parking lot by the youths as its driver   was nowhere to be seen.

County Secretary Isaiah Ogwe, Water Executive Dickson Nyawinda watched helplessly from the hotel balcony as youths tried to extinguish the fire, which was later put out by a water bowser owned by the county government.

Some residents criticised the county government for not owning a fire engine.

“The bowser that was brought to extinguish the fire had low water pressure, we should be shown how out taxes are spent,” said a resident.