Goods worth millions of naira destroyed as fire guts shops in Onitsha


ONITSHA—Many traders watched in disbelief as men of the Anambra State Fire Service battled to put out the fire that gutted parts of Kano Street near Onitsha main market, where goods worth millions of naira were reportedly destroyed, yesterday.

It was gathered that the fire, which was said to have started at about 2am, razed many perfumes, ladies’ wares, cosmetics and wig shops on Kano Street near Onitsha main market.

One of the traders said property got burnt and lost to the fire incident because of the nature of the commodities being sold in that area, which helped in spreading the fire faster.

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But for the timely intervention of the Anambra State Fire Service, the inferno would have engulfed the magnificent main market.

At 4pm, owners of the shops were still in shock as they watched their goods being razed by the inferno, particularly each time the firefighters exhausted their water.

At press time, the men of the fire service had exhausted several tanks of water and were still battling to put out the fire.

Chief Fire Officer of the state Fire Service, Dr Martin Agbili, said his men received the distress call of the fire outbreak and deployed fire trucks and firefighters to the scene immediately.

The state police command said security operatives were also on the ground to ensure that hoodlums did not take advantage of the fire outbreak to loot goods.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Tochukwu Ikenga, said the situation is under control.

“There was no loss of life, although goods worth millions of naira were affected. Preliminary information shows that the cause of the fire is a result of electrical surge from a  cosmetic store in the storey building. Our personnel are still there monitoring,” he said.

Soludo commiserates with victims

Meanwhile, Governor Chukwuma Soludo of the state has commiserated with victims.

Soludo, in a statement by his Press Secretary, Chris Aburime, expressed sadness over the incident that left shops and goods razed with attendant huge losses.

He said as a responsive government, his administration was already on top of the situation and that investigation was ongoing into the remote and immediate causes of the fire to avert a future occurrence.

He said: “I commiserate with the shop owners over the inferno. Efforts of our emergency responders like the state fire service contributed to extinguishing the fire and I find their efforts heartwarming.”

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