Tragedy struck yesterday in Ebonyi State when a section of the popular Ishieke Market in Ebonyi local government area of Ebonyi State was gutted by fire which destroyed properties and other items in different shops in the market valued at hundreds of millions of naira.
Confirming the incident to LEADERSHIP in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, the coordinator Ebonyi Development Centre, Hon Uchenna Igwe said that though no life was lost in the fire incident, victims lamented the complete destruction of their properties saying that the tragic incident would result to serious economic hardship to them and their families.
Hon Igwe in a telephone interview with LEADERSHIP attributed the fire incident to electrical fault from one of the shops adding that the properties destroyed by the fire include, different brands of computer sets and its accessories, tailoring machines, clothing, motorcycle and other properties valued at hundreds of millions of naira.
According to him, “While we were still at the Government House shortly after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rally held at the Abakaliki Township Stadium, I got a distress call from Ishieke that the market has been gutted by fire, I immediately rushed down to the place only to observe that one of the building housing the shops has been completely razed down by the unfortunate fire.
“Though there was frantic effort by sympathisers and other residentsof the area to put off the fire by mixing water and detergent and pouring it on the fire, all their efforts were in vain. On seeing the
situation of things, I immediately called the Ebonyi State Fire Service who came to the scene and had to put off the fire. It is unfortunate that so much damage have been done before the arrival of
the fire service”.
An eyewitness, a student at Ishieke campus of Ebonyi State University, Miss Ogechi Ogbuehi who was in the market to buy some items said that nothing was brought out from the shop where the fire started adding that the entire items in the other shops within the building were also burnt completely.
According to her, “We watched helplessly as people’s products and other items perished in the inferno, every effort to put off the fire proved abortive. I was in the market to pick some items when tick smoke started billowing from the shop, people started shouting for help but the kind of fire and smoke coming out from the shop, I knew nothing could be achieved without the help of the fire fighters”.