WARRI— Popular Maciver Market in Warri, Delta State, went up in flames, yesterday.
It was gathered that about 40 stores were burnt in an early morning fire that consumed property worth over N50 million.
A source alleged that the fire emanated from an illegal petroleum dump site in the market.
Traders wept openly as they saw their stores reduced to debris.
Fire fighters were only able to put out the fire after much havoc had been wreaked.
A widow, Mrs. Esther Usiebe, who said she lost her entire stock, pleaded with the state government to come to the rescue of the affected traders.
She said: “I have been in this business for 10 years; selling snail and fish. But today, all my life saving is gone.”
It was learnt that the market had been gutted by fire about five times in the last few years.
Another victim, Mrs. Anthonia Dugbe, also appeal for financial assistance, saying that they were taken unaware by the disaster.
She said: “We appeal to government to check the illegal sale of petroleum products, which has been the cause of fire incidents here.
“We are all traders and so we do not have power to stop those selling petrol inside the market. But they cause us problems every time.”