THE BLOG

Massive Fire Devastates Bujumbura Central Market

Yesterday, on Jan. 27, the main market in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, caught fire bringing the city and the country's economy to a standstill. The blaze grew into a massive inferno, with rumored 20-meter high flames, devastating thousands of businesses and overpowering the Burundi Fire Brigade. The number of injuries is unknown; a woman who rushed into the flames to rescue $312,000 USD she kept in her stall is the only confirmed death thus far.

Sources say Rwandan military helicopters arrived to help extinguish the fire.

The cause of the blaze is unknown, but Burundi officials have set up a commission to investigate the cause and determine the damage.

The fire will have a substantial effect on the national economy. Only 5 percent of merchants in the market had insured their goods, and with inflation already at 9.7 percent, residents most likely will see a significant rise in food prices in the days following.

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