Mr Ngala said workers and the management are waiting for communication from the owner of the cottage, probably today.

Mr Wamalwa told the Nation he was evacuated from Leopard Beach Hotel immediately the fire began.

“I was there. We were alerted of the blaze in good time. The management transferred us to other hotels and mobilised firefighters professionally,” the Cabinet Secretary said by phone.

Safely relocated

The minister thanked the hotel management, security personnel and Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya “for moving with speed to ensure the fire was brought under control”.

“We were alerted in good time and guided out. We thank God no one was injured,” he said.

In 2018, Leopard Beach was feted as Africa’s leading family resort for the second year running.

It was also named Africa’s leading resort and the continent’s top spa resort for the third year in a row.

Leopard Beach general manager Kioko Musyoki said the fire affected 120 rooms. All the guests were safely relocated, he said.

HIGH-PROFILE

Mr Musyoki said the CS “was at the hotel in his private capacity”.

There were many other high profile foreign and local visitors, who joined employees in mobilising emergency support.

Mr Musyoki said: “The adjacent villas were slightly affected by the smoke and heat, but the fire was finally contained.” The losses were huge, he added.

He thanked the neighbouring tourist establishments, police, emergency services and the Diami community for their support.

Mr Musyoki said investigations have been launched into the cause of the fire.

Additional reporting by Lucas Barasa and Kitavi Mutua

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