No fewer than 20 shops in Nsukka Main Market in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State was on Monday destroyed by fire.
An eyewitness, a trader, who pleaded anonymity, said that he was around Nsukka old motor park when he saw smoke coming out from one of the shops in the Peace Plaza building attached to the market where mobile phones and accessories were sold. “I and other people around did our best to put off the fire but it was difficult; then we started calling some market executives who immediately alerted Enugu State Fire Service Nsukka Office..
According to him the fire started around 12.30 pm in one of the shops from the Peace Plaza.
“I was surprised on the outbreak of the fire because nobody was in the market as a result of sit-at-home observed every Monday in South East.
“Some say it might be an electrical spark but for the past four days, we did not have a public power supply in the market because of a breakdown of our transformer. “The fire affected about 20 shops in that Plaza which sell mainly phones and phone accessories.”
The quick intervention of fire service people prevented the fire from spreading to other shops in the market Speaking with newsmen, Mrs Ngozi Ozioko, the Chairman of Nsukka Main Market traders association, said she was in the house when she started getting series of distress calls from traders that part of the market had been gutted by fire.
“Immediately I started calling fire service offices in Enugu and Nsukka to come to our rescue.
“I thank God for the fire service’s prompt response, without that the entire market would have been destroyed by fire, “No shop inside the market is affected by the fire, only the shops in the Peace Plaza building are affected,” she said.
The chairman, however, expressed concern about what could have been the cause of the fire when all shops were under lock and key because of sit-at-home observed in South East every Monday.
“Nobody is inside the market today because of sit-at-home and moreso, for the past four days there was no public power supply in the market because our electricity transformer developed a fault.
“It’s today, Tuesday, that Enugu Electricity Distribution Company “EEDC” workers promised to come and fix the transformer,” she said. Ozioko disclosed that the market executive would later set up a committee to find out the source of the fire outbreak as well as the cost of items destroyed by the fire.
When contacted, Mr Okwudili Ohaa, the Chief Fire Officer in Enugu State, confirmed the incident and said his men in Nsukka fire service immediately rushed to the scene as soon as the office received the distress call.
“Ozioko the chairman of Nsukka Main Market, called me that there was fire outbreak in the market and I immediately called our Nsukka and Orba fire fighters to move to the seen.
“I am happy their quick intervention prevented the fire from spreading to other shops,” he said.
Ohaa, however, said the cause of the fire had been ascertained but disclosed that he had directed his men to later investigate to find out about the cause of the fire.
Nwachineke Onyeke Chekwube reporting, Obinwannem News writer/October 26, 2021.