By: Foday Manneh
A late Tuesday evening fire incident ravaged a cosmetic shop at Serekunda market, consuming goods worth about D3 million, according to the vice chairperson of the disaster management committee of NDMA, Alhagie Musa Mendy.
The inferno started a few minutes after 7:30 pm. It consumed an entire cosmetic shop owned by Haddim, a Senegalese national engaged in selling fragrances, perfumes, and scents.
The Gambia Red Cross Society Kanifing municipality Branch Officer Omar Badjie confirmed to TAT that there were no casualties from the inferno.
But three people were referred to the hospital due to inhaling the smoke.
Meanwhile, KMC has issued a statement disputing reports that the fire outbreak, as reported by many online media houses, was at the primary Serekunda market.
“Contrary to Media reports, Serekunda Market is not on fire; however, there is a fire around the vicinity of the market in private properties. The destruction is significant, and we urge all to support the fire service in their effort to arrest the fire,” the council that manages the market said in an urgent update on its Facebook page.
An eyewitness to the incident, Soto Manneh, told Alkamba Times that the shop was closed at the time of the incident, which led to the significant destruction.
“The boys wanted to break the shop but were afraid to be labeled and arrested as thieves. So they decided to call the Police, and before they arrived, it was serious,” Soto said.
She added: “I told my people to switch off all electric meters because the light was going on and off. We can’t tell the cause of the fire, but electricity was not consistent at the time.”
A resident of Serekunda, Agie Fatou Manneh, said their efforts to help put off the fire were undermined by the unavailability of water which led to the massive damage caused.
She urged NAWEC to help resolve their water problems to help in response to such emergencies when occurred.
TAT understands that The victim (Haddim) is currently in Senegal for a religious festival locally called “Maagal Touba.”
His friend Omar told TAT that Haddim was informed about the tragedy, which he described as the will of the Almighty.
Alhagie Musa Mendy, a representative from the Kanifing Municipal Council, said the council will call an emergency meeting on Wednesday in response to the incident.
Firefighters were joined by commuters, especially the youth, to help contain the fire in the already ravaged cosmetic shop to avoid further spreading the blaze around the primary Serekunda market.