Goods worth over N50 million were yesterday gutted by mid night fire while three people sustained various degrees of injury at the popular Electronics International Market Onitsha, the commercial nerve center of Anambra State.
The cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained as at the time of filing this report but the inferno was said to have started at about 3.am from one of the shops inside the market.
According to an eye witness, “immediately we discovered that there was an outbreak of fire in one of the shops, I alerted the vigilante commander, Mr. Jideofor Okacha and we started making contacts for help but all efforts were in vain as none of the fire service stations contacted responded except Okpoko Fire Service Station”.
Speaking with newsmen, the vigilante commander stressed the need for a control switch to be installed in the market, adding that on rushing to the shop with other security operatives, thick smoke was seen bellowing from the said shop.
“We tried to break the shop to stop the fire with our fire extinguisher, but to no avail and the security men from one of the new generation banks located inside the market brought their extinguisher but to no avail. Instead, the fire escalated, touching the double shop apartment and other near-by shops in the market.
“As it went out of control, we called the Okpoko Fire Service men at about 4.am and they responded promptly with their vehicle and put out the fire.”
He said that initially, the effort of the Okpoko fire service men was resisted by the ravaging inferno. The water in their tank soon finished and they rushed back to their office and came back almost immediately and emptied their tank on the inferno.
“Nobody died because it was in the midnight and people were still sleeping but some of the security men with me from a new generation bank sustained various degrees of injury as we tried to stop the fire”.