By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA—Goods estimated at N500 million were at the weekend destroyed by a mystery fire which razed about 300 shops at Onitsha Printing Paper Dealers market, Woliwo area of the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra state.
According to an eye witness, the fire incident which started at about 7 p.m., when the traders had already closed their shops and went home, suddenly took off from SPW block and spread to EMWO and EMS blocks before creeping into empty cartons and wedding cards section and then to the nearby motor spare parts market, before the intervention of men of the state fire service from Ogidi unit.
At the scene of the incident, victims were seen clearing the debris of their goods.
Evangelist Emma Ohanugo, the assistant secretary of the market who spoke in the absence of the chairman, Chief Silas Uzor, told newsmen at the scene that it took men of the state fire service almost two hours to arrive the scene but when they arrived, they did their best to put off the inferno, adding that they did wonderfully well as they worked till 1 a.m.
Ohanugo disclosed that the State Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Dr. Christian Madubuko had equally visited the scene to commiserate with the victims and promised to take their message to Governor Willie Obiano for possible assistance.
Insisting that investigations were still in progress as to unravel the mystery surrounding the sudden fire outbreak, he however called on Obiano and other individuals and corporate bodies to come to the rescue of the victims as most of them were completely disorganized by the fire disaster.