It was another dark day in Onitsha, Anambra State, yesterday, as fire gutted the head head market of the Association of Medical and Pharmaceutical Products Dealers Onitsha AMPPDO.
In the process, goods worth over 100 million naira were destroyed.
The fire incident was said to have started at about 6am, at the Redemption Line of the market.
A source said it would have gutted the whole market, but for the timely intervention of the men of Fire Service from Onitsha Main market and Building Materials Market, Ogidi, invited by the leadership of the market.
When The Nation visited the market yesterday after the incident about 12 noon, members of the executive of AMPPDO were still ruminating over the incident.
Also, the affected shop owners were clearing their shops of the rubbles left by the fire incident.
One of the affected victims, Chidubem Uzochukwu, told The Nation that he lost N700,000 cash and goods worth over N15 million, while his neighbor Ebuka Emeh lost more.
President of AMPPDO, Mr. Uche Eze, said he was called by market security men at about 6.15 am yesterday, that there was fire outbreak at Redemption Line and he quickly called men of the Fire Service from Onitsha Main Market and Building Material Market, Ogidi
According to him,
“When I arrived the market the fire was still raging, members of executive were also here with me, including the President General of Bridge Head Markets Association, Mr. Sunday Obinze, Chairman of the Line and his Secretary, Alvin Okpaleke; we were all here helping the Fire Service officials to quench the fire.
“About six shops were affected and over N100 million both in cash and goods were lost to this fire incident, you can see for yourself the debris left in the shops. The owners equipped their shops with goods for the Christmas sales, but you can see what has happened.
“The whole market would have been engulfed by the fire if not for our prompt response in calling the fire fighting men from both markets.
“We are therefore appealing to Governor Willie Obiano to come to the assistance of the affected traders; they have lost all they have been working for over the years in just one incident.
“We are also appealing to the governor to provide us with fire service equipment; it is unfortunate that the entire Bridge Head Markets Association has no fire service facility to tackle similar problem.”