By Abdulsalam Muhammad
KANO—Over 200 shops and 1,200 makeshift tents were, yesterday, destroyed as an early morning fire gutted the popular Singer Market in Kano.
The state Director of Fire Service, Alhaji Balarabe Kabara, who confirmed the fire outbreak, said it occurred at about 6a.m.
Kabara said: “We are yet to ascertain the actual number of shops destroyed, as we are still battling to put out the inferno.”
However, an eyewitness who identified himself as Aminu Inuwa, said the fire started around 4:15a.m., and a particular structure containing over 200 shops was completely razed.
Aminu said that the fire also razed a number of warehouses of foodstuffs and essential commodities near the market.
Meanwhile, there are conflicting reports over what triggered the inferno. While an eyewitness attributed the fire to an explosion from gas cylinder of a pop-corn maker, another report has it that the fire was triggered by a live coal abandoned by a tea vendor in the market.
Vanguard findings revealed that the affected section of the market was the hub of assorted goods such as water-proof bags, sacks, rice, flower, pomade, soft drinks and other consumables.
Two prominent leaders of the market union, Alhaji Imam Yuguda and Alhaji Bature Garba claimed over N3 billion worth of goods and cash were lost to the fire.
In his reaction, Kano State Government called on the National Emergency Management Agency to assist victims of the disaster.