The authorities said Kenyatta International Airport had been closed and passengers evacuated. The fire, classed as very severe, kept people away. Shocked would-be passengers stood outside the airport, bags in hand, watching the blaze.
There have been no reports of any casualties and the cause of the fire is not clear. Ambulances are arriving as well as fire engines, which are running low on water. An unconfirmed report says the fire had started at the airport's immigration offices, which, along with the arrivals sections have been devastated by the blaze.
The city and its surrounding area also forms the Nairobi County. The name Nairobi comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyrobi, which translates to cold water. The phrase is also the Maasai name of the Nairobi river, which in turn lent its name to the city. However, it is popularly known as the Green City in the Sun and is surrounded by several expanding villa suburbs.
My only remaining daughter moved to Kenya in the 1980's after a 10 year stint working as a model in Paris. She married a British subject, whose family ran a Safari Park. I visited her in the villa suburb of Karen where she lived. The local people were polite and full of the joy of living. Of course, I toured the surrounding country and observing some of the wild animals.
After her divorce, my daughter took her two sons back to Australia. As young men, they returned to Kenya. There must be something about the happy people, the sweeping plains, the lush vegetation and the unique animals that urged my grandsons to return.
There have been many reports of unrest in Nairobi over the decades. Let's hope the cause of the fire is accidental rather than further insurgence.