By Uzoma Moses Eze
An early morning fire gutted Ishieke Market, in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital on Monday.
The fire which started around 3am was said to have razed down shops, destroying goods worth millions of Naira.
The Voice gathered that some of the shops were slightly affected, others were totally burnt down.
Consequently, many traders in the market who lost their goods to the inferno raised distress cry to the State Government, calling for assistance.
One of them, Emmanuel Merit, said his mother’s shop was burnt with all the goods.
Merit said: “We sell food stuffs in the market and my mother’s shop was among those burnt”
”I got a call that the market was on fire but before I could get there the shop was already destroyed”
He said over 20 shops were destroyed before fire service arrived and put off the inferno
The Chief Fire Officer in the State, Raphael Ibiam who confirmed the incident, blamed the fire on power surge in one of the buildings and warned residents to always put out all appliances they are not using.
Ibiam also advised the traders and shop owners to but and install fire extinguishers to help put out fire before it gets out of control.
“We received distress call around 2:15 am and quickly mobilised to the market. It has already spread to many shops when we got there.
“We managed to control and put it off around 3 am. We are suspecting that it might be as a result of fire surge”
“Traders should try and put off all electrical appliances they are not using. This is the third fire I of recent that is suspected to have been caused by power surge”
“Also, we have been advising traders to get fore extinguishers. This will help them to control or even put off the fire before fire service gets there. But they have always remained adamant about.
“They should know that it is for their own good. A good extinguisher is about N10,000 N12000. It is better to spend that amount to secure your premises and goods than to lose millions”, he said.