Goods and properties estimated at billions of naira have been destroyed during a fire outbreak at the power line section of Ariaria International Market, Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State on Saturday.
The power line zone is where mechanical parts, raw materials, shoe-making equipment and allied appliances are sold.
The fire outbreak brought businesses to a halt as shop owners at the market (Power line section) count their losses.
According to an eye witness, the fire started late Saturday night and raged till Sunday morning before it was put out by firefighters.
The state Fire Controller, Nnanna Arua, who confirmed the incident, said over 30 shops were razed in the fire outbreak attributed to an erratic power supply.
Arua said when he was alerted of the fire outbreak at about 11:00p.m last Saturday, he quickly liaised with the Aba Division of the service for necessary action.
According to him, firefighters on arrival, met residents already struggling to put out the raging fire, which hindered the operatives from gaining easy access to the fire points.
Arua, however, said no life was lost in the fire outbreak, which took over three hours to put out.
Meanwhile, the Central Chairman of the affected market zone, Amadi Ezekiel, told the lawmaker representing Aba North Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Destiny Nwagwu, during his visit to the scene that the fire might have been caused by an electrical spark arising from poor wiring in one of the shops.
He commended the efforts of some of the shoemakers, who battled overnight to curtail the spread of the fire before the arrival of the state fire service.
Nwagwu, while sympathizing with the victims, assured them that the state government would not turn its back on them.
He promised to set up a seven-man committee to interface with the market leaders on the possibility of assisting the victims.
Source: CHANNELS TV