By Flavia Ajok
HOIMA: Business and traffic came to a standstill in Hoima City on Wednesday after fire gutted a building, destroying merchandise worth hundreds of millions of shillings.
The Kabalega building that caught fire is located along Butiaba road opposite public primary school. Traffic along the road was blocked for hours by police as the fire brigade tried to put out the fire.
The building was housing several businesses such as Boutiques, a fashion center, skills training center, Decoration shop, betting center and bars.
As police battled to put out the fire, Good Samaritans were busy helping the owners of the affected businesses to rescue their property.
According to eyewitnesses, the fire started at 8am.
Jimmy Balyesima, one of the affected businessmen who owns a decoration and arts and crafts centre says he has lost over 100 million shillings.
Balyesima says the fire has also razed down Bunyoro Women Development Enterprises which is managed by his wife, the Hoima City deputy mayor Sylvia Nalumaga.
He adds that the fire has also destroyed their decoration and a skills centre.
Pascal Kugonza, a saloon operator, says that they lost most of their machines in the inferno. He notes that the saloon was employing over five youth adding that they are worried on how they are going to survive.
Alex Wabwire, the Hoima city police commander, says police were able to put out the fire.
”The cause of the fire outbreak hasn’t been established but we have commenced investigations,” he said.