By Egufe Yafugborhi, PORT HARCOURT
ANOTHER destructive fire, the third in five days in Port Harcourt, has blazed through the Timber Market, Marine Base of the Rivers state capital city, razing property estimated at hundreds of millions of naira.
Victims said the fire which started at a spot in the Timber Market from yet unknown causes raged from 11 pm Wednesday through the dawn of Thursday, leaving several traders devastated.
Isaac Amewhule, Chairman, Marine Base Timber Market, said, “This timber market fire has happened more than five times now and each time it happens we are set back in pains that many people hardly recover from it in their businesses.
“We don’t actually know the cause of the fire because for some time now, we don’t use public power. We rely on generators to run our machines from 7 am to 6 pm. We really don’t know what do now”.
In the past five days, a first incident has occurred at Bishop Okoye Street in Diobe, Port Harcourt, where several shops loaded with goods were razed.
A second fire incident then happened at the Ogbum-Nabali area of Port Harcourt where over 20 shanties were destroyed rendering several residents homeless.
As with the previous instances, state and federal fire fighting authorities in Port Harcourt have been in a blame game with victims of the Marine Base Timber Market fire over failure to arrest the situation before it got out of hand.