Five Traders Collapse as Fire Destroys Goods, Machines in Nnewi Timber Market

Five traders in Nnewi Timber Market, Anambra State, collapsed when they learnt of the fire that gutted their wares in the market on Thursday night.
They were rushed to the hospital where there are currently recuperating.
It was gathered that immediately they learnt of the incident, unable to withstand the shock of losing their valuables in the inferno, they fainted.
The inferno destroyed goods and machines worth millions of naira.
The Chairman of the Nnewi Timber Dealers Association, Chief Chukwunonso Nnetu, said a security guard in the market alerted him some minutes past midnight of the inferno.
Nnetu explained that firefighters in Awka, Nnewi and Onitsha fire service stations were immediately contacted to fight the fire.
Nnetu added, “The Nnewi Fire Service men later arrived though the fire had reached an advanced stage.
“We lost about 155 shops, 555 sawing and curving machines valued at N2m each, different categories and quantities of woods and planks were also destroyed.
“We don’t know the exact cause of the fire, but we have lost well over N3bn to the inferno.”
According to him, most of the traders have lost their only means of survival unless government intervenes.
The Secretary to the market association, Jude Ugwu, who noted that the fire affected most processing machines, wondered how the traders would overcome the loss in this time of recession.
Ugwu, who recalled that a similar fire incident occurred in 2002, appealed to the state and federal governments to assist the traders to recover from the loss.
A Director in the state Emergency Management Agency, Chukwudi Onyejekwe, described the incident as a “painful and a bizarre situation,” considering the quantity of goods destroyed.
He stated, “As you can see, the firefighters are still battling with the fire since 1am The agency will later ascertain the remote cause of the fire.
“We will assist the traders by pleading with the state and federal governments to come to their rescue through the National Emergency Management Agency.
“We anticipated this and had been moving round the markets sensitising the traders on how to fight such fire.”
The state Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of Operations, Johnson Kokuko, said no life was lost and no one was arrested.
Kokumo said, “Immediately we got the information, we cordoned off the area to ensure that hoodlums did not take advantage of the situation.”

Author: News Editor

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