Fire razes shops in Anambra, traders cry out for help

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 27 January 2020 | 1,485 times

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•One of the burnt shops. PHOTO: PAMELA EBOH / News Express

Fire has razed shops on Oby Okoli Street in Awka, the Anambra State capital, leaving traders in tears as they count their losses. The inferno was said to have been caused by a spark from an electric pole.

This brings to three the number of trading areas in the state destroyed by fire since the new year, 2020. First, it was the Auto Spare Parts Market at Nkpor which left one dead, then a mechanic garage located Amawbia by-pass, along the Enugu-Onitsha expressway, before the the current incident.

It was gathered that the affected shops were mostly the ones built directly under the electric cable.

A statement by Pascal Amigo, SPEO, Awka, Anambra State Command of the Road Safety said: “There was a fire outbreak at Oby Okoli Avenue, by Club Road Junction.

“According to an eyewitness, the fire started when a spark from the electric pole hit the roof of a shop.

“The Sector Commander, Anambra State Sector Command, CC Andrew A. Kumapayi, called the Fire Service immediately he received the information and their timely arrival and intervention ensured the fire was extinguished and kept under control.

“The DPO ‘B’ Division of the NPF was also on ground at the scene. Operatives of the FRSC are controlling traffic at the moment.”

The Sector Commander advised people to always have fire extinguishers handy, especially during this dry season.

One of the victims who spoke to News Express in tears said: “The fire incident has destroyed me totally. I thought I had escaped the job market but now I am back to square one.”

Another victim who simply gave her name as NG said that the clothes she sells is what takes care of both her feeding and school fees.

Her words: “I started this clothing business by going to Onitsha to pick first grade materials and, from there, I saved money to pay for a shop. It’s not been long I went to market to restock after Christmas. All of it is now gone.”

The traders called on the State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, to come to their aid.

Source: News Express

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