Traders in foodstuff at the Kaduna Central Market, Bakin Dogo, were on Wednesday left in shock and confusion by an early morning fire outbreak that consumed 31 shops along Birnin Kudu Road in the market.
The fire which began at about 2 a.m. was said to have started from the palm oil sellers’ section of the market. Affected most were the local yam flour sellers’ section of the market and a Mosque at the palm oil sellers’ section.
It was gathered that the night guards on duty at the market alerted people close by following the outbreak.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the cause of the fire was not yet known. But the traders attributed it to an electrical fault.
The Cassava Grinders Union chairman at Bakin Dogo, Alfa Hussaini, who addressed journalists at the market said about 31 shops were affected at the section
“The fire I was told started around 2 a.m. when all of us were at home. By the time I came to the market, most of the shops were burnt completely. We lost millions of naira because most of the affected shops have two to four grinding machines.
“I think only God can help us because as you can see, most of the owners are women working hard to feed their family members. We are calling on the government to come to our aid,” he said.
An elderly man who identified himself as Baba, said he lost everything in his shop to the fire.
He said: “We need assistance because we lost everything in the shop. All my grinding machines have been destroyed,” he said.
He said men of Kaduna State Fire Service promptly responded to a distress call but it took them hours to stop the fire.
When PREMIUM TIMES visited the scene, shop owners were seen in groups consoling each other and picking from the debris of their burnt shops.