Midnight fire razes Nnewi timber market, Akure metropolis
Fire, which began on Wednesday night, yesterday ravaged a timber market at Nnewi North Local Council of Anambra State, destroying goods worth millions of naira, even as sources claim five traders caught in the fire have been hospitalised.
The chairman of the Nnewi Timber Dealers Association, Chief Chukwunonso Nnetu, said at the scene of the incident that a security man in the market alerted him around some minutes past 12 midnight to tell him that the market was on fire.
He explained that he quickly contacted Awka, Nnewi, and Onitsha fire service stations. “The fire had reached an advanced stage before the firefighters came,” he said.
The cause of the fire has not been determined and no life was lost. Some traders, however, thanked the Capital Oil & Gas boss, Dr. Ifeanyi Uba, from rescuing the Nkwo Nnewi Timber market from utter ruins as he swiftly deployed his Uba’s fire-fighter tanks to the scene to put out the fire.
In another development, barely two weeks after a fire outbreak consumed a neighbourhood market in Akure metropolis, a similar inferno reoccurred yesterday, destroying property worth millions of naira and rendered many jobless.
The sad incident happened around 1a.m. at Egbe Street in Ayedun area of Akure, where several residential buildings were affected and many shops that were stocked with foodstuffs were destroyed.
Though no life was lost in the fire outbreak, the cause of the inferno was unknown as at press time, with the affected traders stressing that the incident was mysterious.
Edibles that were consumed in the shops included rice, beans, tubers of yam, palm oil, pepper, vegetable oil, just to mention a few, in large and commercial quantities.
A sports viewing centre in the area was also razed to ashes with unquantifiable losses of DSTV satellite dish, decoders, fans, tables, chairs, television sets, stabilisers, generating set and other valuables.
Nevertheless, it took the prompt intervention of sympathisers in the neighbourhood and personnel of the Ondo State Fire Service to curtail the spread of the fire and rescue people living in the area.
One of the victims, a food vendor, Mrs. Bola Makinde, narrated that she received a phone call around 1a.m. that her shop was gutted by fire.
On getting there, Makinde lamented that all her belongings and valuables had been consumed by the fire.
Similarly, a motorcycle engineer that is operating in the area, Mr. Abiola Ojo, disclosed that someone called him in the midnight that his shop was burnt and he immediately rushed down there to watch haplessly as his shop burnt to ashes.
Ojo noted that no one could ascertain the cause of the incident, stressing that all his handiwork and equipment were destroyed including three motorcycles brought by his customers for repair.
Other sources told our correspondent that the fire might have occurred as a result of power surge, but some people in the neighbourhood said there was no light when the tragic incident occurred.
The owner of one of the affected buildings, Mrs. Mary Dada, said: “The cause of the fire incident is not clear yet to anyone because everybody has gone to sleep and all the traders had all gone home.
“But what I just know is that one of my tenants went out in the midnight to urinate and he is the one that raised the alarm before everybody rushed out.”
Another trader, who identified herself as Mrs. Bola Yusuf, recounted that she just loaded her shop with foodstuffs to start her food selling business after the Christmas and New Year festivals.
Mrs. Yusuf said she had lost everything to the inferno, stressing that the money used to buy her foodstuff was got from LAPO loan.
The affected traders implored the state government, corporate organisations, philanthropists and other stakeholders to come to their assistance.