Properties worth millions of shillings were destroyed Saturday after a fire broke out at four tourist properties in Malindi town.
The early afternoon fire whose cause is yet to be known burnt down part of the famous Coral Key hotel, the Coral Key B apartments, the Oasis Village and the Park Marina Estate.
The apartments are inhabited mostly by Italian nationals and their Kenyan spouses.
According to the manager of Park Marina Estate Mr. Ronald Charo, he lost all the 15 houses and several vehicles belonging to tourists who have bought apartments and occasionally visit for holidays.
“We lost 15 houses at Park Marina and the fire started at Oasis village and spread so fast to the neighbouring premises, we tried to seek help at the Malindi fire station but they told us their vehicles were not in working condition and assured us of reinforcement from Kilifi town,” he said.
Mr. Charo said the incident would lead to job losses and called on the government to intervene and compensate them.
Mr. Mohamed Shelali an eye witness told journalists that the fire started at around midday and that three hours later it had not been put out.
He said the damage would not have been extensive if the fire engines arrived on time.
Help came in minutes past 3 pm when fire engines from the Malindi International Airport and those from the Kilifi County government but 90 per cent of the properties were already in ashes.
“Efforts to extinguish the fire were futile since the roofs were too high and the fire brigade arrived late after the fire had already spread to neighboring houses and villas,” he said.
Police also had a rough time controlling the crowd that turned out to witness the incident and arrested dozens of youths for looting the villas.