Property worth Rwf35 million was destroyed when fire gutted a commercial building that housed six general merchandise shops and a pharmacy in Gakenke town Thursday.
Watchmen woke residents up after the inferno started at around midnight to collectively stop it from spreading towards other commercial houses within the centre.
Those who lost their property reported that fire was caused by a short circuit after several days of power interruptions.
“It’s unbelievable losing all I worked for in my lifetime. Everything has been destroyed in just a matter of hours,” Felicien Nizeyimana, whose shop was stocked with products worth Rwf3m said agitatedly .
“I left my shop when everything was fine but I was shocked to hear this news.’’
The razed products included mattresses, foodstuffs, and hardware appliances as well as cash.
Residents blamed the Electricity, Water and Sanitation agency-EWASA, in Gakenke District for not informing them about ongoing electric wire installations which allegedly led to abrupt power blackouts hence the eventual short circuit.
However, Poly Kambanda, head of EWASA, in Gakenke said that they were still investigating the cause of the fire, but suspected poor electric installations in one the houses.
The District vice Mayor, Clemence Ugiribanga, advised business people to ensure that their goods are insured against fire.