When the FIRE Brigade personnel came at the scene of a fire late today, market vendors attacked them at John Chinena market in the Chibombo district of Central Province.
Officers who attempted to put out a fire at the market that had spread to between 100 and 150 meters of improvised stalls were forced to flee amid irate customers and vendors.
The traders asserted that they had called the fire department as soon as they discovered the fire, but the department’s response was tardy because the majority of their fruits and vegetables had already been consumed by the flames.
Police Commissioner for Central Province David Chileshe reported that the event happened today at John Chinena Market in the Chief Liteta neighborhood of the Chibombo district.
“Brief facts were that today, April 26, at around 13:00 hours, a strange call was received at Chibombo Police Station to the effect that officers from the Fire Brigade who rushed to the scene from Chibombo Municipal Council to quench the inferno were attacked by marketeers at the market.
“Police rushed to the scene and found that about 100 to 150 meters of make shift stalls on the left side when coming from Kabwe where vendors sell fruits and vegetables were gutted by fire believed to have been started by an unknown person,” he said
According to Mr. Chileshe, goods of unknown value was completely destroyed when the fire extended to the improvised booths constructed of grass and wood.
According to him, when the fire first erupted, traders are thought to have phoned the fire brigade for assistance, but the fire tender arrived at the site too late, infuriating the dealers.
“The traders in anger, descended on the officers who ran for their safety leaving their pieces of equipment lying about which were later secured by police. No serious injuries on persons have been recorded. No arrests made ,but investigations to establish what caused the fire are on going,” he said.