Many Shops Burnt to Ashes as Fire Razes Abia State Market.
Traders and sympathizers at New Market in Aba, Abia State Line 49, Lagos zone could not hold back their tears as a mysterious fire gutted 14 shops and destroyed goods worth millions of cash in the inferno.
Our correspondent who visited the scene of the inferno on Friday reports that the traders claimed that they couldn’t save a pin from the inferno they said started when they had all gone home after their day’s business.
While the affected traders were seen picking and packing out charred goods from their shops, others who could not hold back their emotions were seen being consoled by sympathizers at the scene.
Some of the traders who spoke anonymously demanded that the security men on duty should be questioned. This is as some of them claimed that the inferno was sponsored.
They wondered how the area that doesn’t have electricity supply over decades or have anyone that sells restaurant got burnt over a night. They also queried the inability of the security men on duty in the area to raise alarm when they spotted an unusual fire or smoke in a place that doesn’t even sell any inflammable material.
One of the traders, Mr. Ifeanyi Ogbonna who was still struggling with his emotion but however, summoned courage to speak to our reporter at the scene said that he lost about N2.5m while a neighbour who sells provision lost goods worth about N8m.
According to him, men of the Abia State Fire Service came to attend to the fire, but left when they ran out of water.
He said that the fire was later quenched by sympathizers who used water from a nearby borehole operator to attack and stopped the fire from engulfing other shops in the zone.
He appealed to the governor of the state, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu and other well-meaning Nigerians to come to their aid as they cannot bear the pain and weight of the loss alone.
Okezie Uche, Head Aba Fire Service said that the cause of the fire could not be ascertained at the time of filing the report, but however stated that it could have been unconnected to the change in temperature.
Uche advised chairmen of various lines in the market and other markets in Aba and its environs to make sure that they have materials that would enable them to quench fire at the early stage before it goes out of hand.