Fireworks party turns tragic after hotel catches fire

Fireworks ignited at a strategic point in Leopard beach hotel./COURTESY

Kwale, KENYA: At least 5 blocks, each with 20 rooms, and belongings of unknown value were on Sunday night reduced to ashes after a fire broke out at Leopard beach hotel in Diani, Kwale county.

According to Kwale County Commissioner Karuku Ngumo, the inferno which started at around 10pm also razed down the neighboring cottages as it spread very fast.

“It was too windy so the fire further razed an adjacent of 3 cottages at the Governor hotel and Warandale cottages staff quarters,” he said.

No injury was reported during the incident as most visitors were evacuated to other hotels.

Karuku said police have launched investigations to ascertain the cause of the fire.

Meanwhile, some of the tour operators claimed that the fire was caused by fireworks which most hotels were warned against allowing such activities in their premises.

Leopard beach Resort manager Joanne Ndung’u said they could not speak to media.

“Am sorry we are busy sorting out guests who were staying at the hotel since most of them have lost their travel documents, for now we cannot talk to the media,” she said.

However Katana Karisa Ngala the care taker at the Governor cottages where the fire gutted said he was cleaning the swimming pool when the fire started in one of the building spreading to the others.

“I think there was a wedding at the neighborhood Leopard beach hotel and after the ceremony they started the fireworks which later led to fire,” he said.

Msambweni sub-county administrator Hamisi Mwandaro noted that Kwale county government fire engine responded quickly to assist in putting off the fire.

“There was good cooperation from the public and police and at least it’s just part of the hotel that caught fire since the county government fire engine acted with speed,” he said.