An early morning fire on Monday razed shops with goods worth millions of naira at Abakpa main market in Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi State.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the fire, which started about 3am on Monday, destroyed at least 16 shops, most of them electrical appliances shops, and warehouses behind the building.
It was gathered that the electrical appliance shops destroyed were filled with assorted items such as computers, television, generating sets, among others.
Also affected by the fire were curtain dealers’ shops with bundles of curtains, curtain rods, roll carpets, among others.
Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES, one of the victims, Aaron Onuorah, lamented the level of destruction by the fire, saying the incident took everybody by surprise.
He lamented that he lost stock worth over N6m to the inferno in his electronics shop.
“Before I could realise what was happening and make efforts to remove my goods, the fire burnt so fast that I couldn’t salvage anything. The goods in my shop are worth over N6million,” he said.
Another victim, Stanley Ngwu, expressed shock over the fire outbreak, saying the cause of the fire remains a mystery as there was no electricity supply in the market.
One of the fire fighters who spoke on condition of anonymity said they were yet to ascertain the cause of the fire.
Efforts to get the reaction of the director of Ebonyi State Fire Service, James Onwo, were unsuccessful as he could not be reached on phone.