The Chronicle Gambia

J-Mart Explosion: “We’ve Lost More Than Fourteen Million Dalasis”

J- Mart biulding on fire

Inventory worth millions of Dalasis has been destroyed after a fire ravaged a J-Mart Furniture store Sunday evening in Kanifing. Bedroom sets, wardrobes, living room sets, desks, carpets and rugs among other pieces were all lost in the explosion. 

Yusuf Bakhos, official and brother to the MD of J-Mart

Yusuf Bakhos, brother to the Managing Director of J-Mart, witnessed the explosions and fire. “Those flames were massive,” he told The Chronicle. “You could really barely talk to each other out here because it was so loud,” he said. “We received a distress call at about 7:35pm from the watchman that there was fire outbreak at the store. We tried our best before the Fire Service came in. We used water from our borehole to try and quench the fire, but the fire was raging,” he said.

The blast originated the gas tank area of Hadim Gas, and all production has been stopped. Emergency personnel from multiple towns including firefighters responded to the fire. 

The cause of the fire has yet to be ascertained, however, according to an eyewitness, there was an explosion of a gas plant at Hadim Gas, a nearby energy company. The fire quickly raged over to the stores of J-Mart Furniture.

“There was dirt. There was a smell and I wouldn’t know how to describe it. It wasn’t a gassy smell, it was more like a dirt smell,” Yusuf said. While the extent of damage is being assessed, over 14-million-dalasis worth of furniture has been destroyed, claims Yusuf. “We recorded a very big loss here, but we thank God that there was no loss of life or injury.”

President Barrow with J-Mart officials

However, the public relations officer of The Gambia Fire and Rescue Services told The Chronicle that formal investigations into the cause and origin of the explosion will begin tomorrow, October 29th.

Stay with us for more on this developing story.

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