No fewer than 20 shops have been burnt as fire gutted the popular Ishieke market in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital on Monday, December 12, 2022.
According to reports, the fire incident started around 2 am and destroyed goods worth millions.
Many traders, who lost their goods, lamented and called for help from the State and Federal governments.
One of them, Emmanuel Merit, said his mother’s shop was burnt with all the goods.
According to him: “We sell foodstuffs in the market and my mother’s shop was among those burnt. I got a call that the market was on fire but before I could get there the shop was already destroyed”
He said over 20 shops were destroyed before the fire service arrived and put off the inferno.
The Chief Fire Officer in the State, Raphael Ibiam while confirming the incident blamed it on a power surge in one of the buildings and warned residents to always put out all appliances they are not using.
He also advised residents especially traders and shop owners to but and install fire extinguishers to help put out fire before it gets out of control.
“We received distress call around 2:15 am and quickly mobilised to the market. It has already spread to many shops when we got there.
“We managed to control and put it off around 3 am. We are suspecting that it might be as a result of fire surge”
“Traders should try and put off all electrical appliances they are not using. This is the third fire I of recent that is suspected to have been caused by power surge”
“Also, we have been advising traders to get fore extinguishers. This will help them to control or even put off the fire before fire service gets there. But they have always remained adamant about.
“They should know that it is for their own good. A good extinguisher is about N10,000 N12000. It is better to spend that amount to secure your premises and goods than to lose millions”, he said.