Fire has been extinguished by the Delcma Division of the Sapele Market in the Sapele Local Government Area of the Delta State.
The fire destroyed properties worth several millions of naira, as warehouses and shops where provisions are kept were not spared.
Details of the cause of the fire were still sketchy as of the time of filing this report.
Nevertheless, an eyewitness who spoke to Yawa News said the fire was caused by a power surge in one of the stores when the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, restored light to the area as it had been dark for days.
The eyewitness said, “the inferno then gradually spread to other part of the shops before fire fighters came in.
“I was inside the market when the fire started. We suddenly heard people shouting fire fire; when we got to the scene of the incident, we found out that the fire was as a result of a power surge when BEDC brought light.
We had to reach the market management committee to call the fire fighters.”
One of the affected traders, Mrs. FejIro Onosiagbe, pleaded with the Government to come to her aid.
She added that her business meant the whole life to her.
“I am one of the owners of the affected warehouses. I was away when my girls called me that the warehouse was burning so I ran down, only to discover that my things were on fire. All my life is here, the government should come to our aid,” she pleaded.
Comrade Benson Okorodudu, a member of the Market Committee who also spoke on the incident, narrated how at first the terrain was not accessible for fire trucks and the role traders played to evacuate some wares.
According to him, “before the fire service trucks came, some of them tried to do the best they can and with the arrival of fire trucks from Seplat and the State fire service, the inferno was brought under control.”
While noting that the cost of the goods destroyed cannot be immediately quantified, he said a committee will be put in place to do that, as well as prevent a future reoccurrence.
The Member of the Sapele Local Government Council, Hon. Eugene Inoaghan commended the prompt response of the fire department, adding that traders should be aware of safety when handling electrical appliances.
He also agreed to provide assistance to the shop owners concerned to soften the impact of the loss.