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Published On: Tue, Dec 31st, 2019

Traders lament as fire razes timber market in Delta

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From Nosa Akenzua, Asaba

A fire outbreak has razed down the popular Timber Market at Bonasac Quarters along the Onitsha/Asaba Expressway in Delta State, leaving goods worth millions of naira destroyed.
It was gathered during a visit to the site of the incident, that the inferno which started around 8pm at the weekend, witnessed the loss of goods, but no loss of lives and nobody was injured.
It was learnt that, the timely intervention of a team of firefighters and other first responders who were on hand to battle the fire and keep the peace, as well as prevent acts that could endanger lives saved the situation
Eye witnesses, Mary Osakwe narrated that when the fire started, workers including residents of the sprawling Wood Market were seen frantically trying to salvage the situation and at the same time using any container they could lay their hands on to pour water in attempts to douse the flames.
According to another eyewitness, Mr Chukwuma Opiah, the fire started from a cold room behind the Timber Market
He said, “I was coming back home around 8pm in the night when I saw the fire so everyone us started running, some persons at the gas plant opposite the timber market uses their fire extinguisher but could not quench the fire, so immediately the Delta State fire service came and able to douse it.
“If not their timely intervention, the fire would gutted the gas plant, hospital and all the houses around that area. In fact, it is God that brought them on time, it would be an untold story”
He revealed that an electric spark which started from the cold room was responsible for the market inferno, where goods worth millions of naira were destroyed.
One of shop owners in the market, Mr Oliseh Steve blamed the leadership of the market for allowing the cold room to stay in such a place.
“We have had issues with the cold room several times, it has destroyed the transformer on several occasions” he stated.
Another whose shop was burnt to ashes, Mr. Victor Okeke said, he came back from his village after hearing about the incident to meet his goods all consumed.
He said that most shop owners were unaware of the situation as numbers of them have traveled for the Christmas.
While expressing displeasure over the unfortunate incident, he noted that he lost over N500,000 worth of goods, appealing government to come to the aid of victims of the fire accident.
Policemen who spoke to journalists at scene on condition of anonymity described the inferno as shocking, adding that investigation was ongoing with a view to bringing those responsible for the evil act to book as soon as possible

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