ONITSHA (ANAMBRA) – Fire on Monday razed down a section of the Bridgehead Market, Onitsha, destroying goods valued at millions of naira.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the fire gutted heaps of yam tubers, wooden doors and chairs, mattresses, saw machines, crates of soft drinks, amongst other items in the market.
It was learnt that the fire, which lasted for about an hour, burnt down over 40 shops before it was put off by traders, using fire extinguishers.
It further learnt that no life was lost and nobody sustained any injury but the cause of the fire had yet to be ascertained at the time of going to press.
A victim, Mr Jude Nwufo, who lost wooden doors and chairs, said that the fire started from his section of the market and later spread to other sections
“We suddenly realised there was fire without any sign. We were able to put it off with water and fire extinguishers,” he said.
The affected traders put the worth of the goods destroyed by the fire at several millions of nairs.
Also, Mr Daniel Achu, who lost saw machines, appealed to government for financial assistance to enable them bounce back to business.
However, the President-General of Bridghead Markets Traders Union, Mr Sunday Obinze, told newsmen that they suspected that the fire could have resulted from electrical fault.
Obinze said the executive of the market would review some of its safety measures to avert future occurrence.
He further said that the union would ban the use of naked fire by resturant operators and smokers inside the market, with effect from January 1, 2020.
“This will be part of measures to avoid a similar mishap in future,” he said.
However, the Managing Director of the State Fire Service, Mr Martin Agbili, and the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Haruna Mohammed, said the fire incident was not reported to them for action.
“I have called my men at Okpoko Fire Station, which is close to the market, but they said they did not get any alert.
“Nobody reported the matter to us, so I don’t have any record of the fire,” Agbili told NAN on phone.
“Nobody has reported the alleged fire incident to the police,” Mohammed also stated in his comment via a text message.