Property destroyed as fire burns ADC potato research plant in Molo


A Molo Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) potato plant burnt down Wednesday night in a fire blamed on a bird.

The fierce blaze razed the plant, one of the largest research operations in Kenya dealing in the production of potato seed varieties, causing destruction of property of unknown value.

An electric fault is suspected to have caused the 10pm inferno after an eagle touched a naked electric wire and was electrocuted.

A motorist who was passing by at the time of the incident said he heard a loud bang near the plant followed by a huge fire.

He watched in disbelief as the eagle, which was perched on a transformer, was electrocuted and a fierce fire started at the plant.

“At first I thought it was robbery after I heard the bang but after a while I could see flickers on a nearby transformer, with an eagle having been electrocuted,” he said.

Residents rushed to the scene and police moved in swiftly to disperse the crowd and prevent looting.

Firefighters from timber and wood company Timsales responded to the inferno but ran out of water as the blaze continued to burn the structures.

Poor disaster preparedness in Molo was blamed for the damage, with several people arguing that there was enough time to salvage the property at the plant.

“We raised the alarm 30 minutes before the fire started spreading, but nothing much was done by the concerned parties, who joined us to watch the fire in despair as it caused massive destruction,” said Mr Njenga Matendo.