A fire has devastated parts of a mining town in northeastern Guinea, including the central market where it began, but it was unclear whether there were casualties, residents said on Friday.
The blaze in Siguiri started early Thursday evening at a store whose owner had been smoking a cigarette while working among dozens of fuel barrels stored for sale on the black market, witnesses said.
The flames spread to the rest of the market and homes nearby, they told AFP, and Siguiri has no fire station.
Employees from the Ashanti Goldfields mining company, which operates nearby, came and put out the blaze during the night, but by then the central market was totally destroyed and residents fled as their housed burned down.
Witnesses and officials contacted by AFP were unable to give any casualty toll, but said many people had been left homeless.
Siguiri is located on the Niger River near the west African nation's border with Mali and has some 60,000 residents.
Guinea has been hit by fuel shortages recently. (AFP)
Fire devastates town in Guinea