A fierce fire on Saturday night razed down part of Mzuzu City’s Vigwagwa market destroying property.
Mzuzu City Council director of parks and recreation Goodwin Ponderani said the fire started around 9pm.
He said the council is still assessing the value of the damaged property which includes cane furniture, tyres and compressors.
Ponderani said the council is also investigating the cause of the fire.
According to an eye witness, Sungeni Nepthali, the traders suspect the fire was started by a petrol bomb.
Nepthali, who works at a cane furniture shop that has been completely razed down, losing furniture valued at around K3 million ($5 272), said his livelihood is lost.
“We suspect the fire was caused by a petrol bomb. This was my only source of income and I am not so sure if our managers will pay us our salaries,” he said.
A tyre fitter who is also the burnt section’s chairperson, Dennis Nyambosye, hailed Mzuzu City’s fire department for responding swiftly.
Nyambose, who said he has lost property valued at around K3 million, said had it not been for the fire engines, the whole market would have been up in flames.
The temporary market, which is built mainly of planks, is set on Department of Civil Aviation land.
Vendors at the market have been in the news recently for have refusing to relocate to the newly constructed flea market.
Northern Region Police spokesperson Maurice Chapola said police suspect the fire was started by a fire that was left unattended.
The country has reecently seen a spate of market fires that have gutted down Tsoka Flea Market, Area 18 Market in Lilongwe, Mzimba Market, Kamuzu Road Market in Salima and a section of Taifa and Mzuzu Central Market.