Godwin Udoh, Asaba
THREE persons were on Monday injured as fire gutted Cable Point Market, a popular food stuff market in Asaba, Delta State.
It was gathered that those injured were trying to put out the fire, which an eyewitness said was ignited by electrical faults.
An eyewitness, Iyabo Mushin, told Southern City News that the fire, which gutted the entire building, started around 2.00am.
It was gathered that residents in the neighbourhood raised the alarm to draw attention to the incident.
Another witness, Ogbueshi Joseph Nwandu, blamed the fire outbreak on poor electrical connection, adding that the victims were lucky to have escaped death.
Investigation revealed that residents of Cable Point Quarters, in the past few weeks, had been apprehensive following sparks of electrical cables on the poles within the area.
At the scene of the razed market building, a crowd of people, especially traders who had just returned from business trips, were seen crying profusely over the calamity that befallen them.
One of the security men at the market, Nnamdi Paul, said they had to flee from the premises following prolonged sparks from switch boxes connecting electricity to the market building.
He said, “We observed that fire was coming out of the switch boxes connecting the entire market building. So, we ran for help, which was to no avail.”
Alhaja Lade Lawal, whose shops were also razed, expressed shock over the incident, saying she had barely returned few days ago from a trip where he bought goods for sale.
“I’m finished; all the goods I bought few days ago were burnt. I have no hope again; people should come to my aid,” Lawal lamented amid tears.
The state Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Chika Ossai, said it was unfortunate that the fire outbreak gutted the market building at a time the people were facing hardship and economic recession.
Ossai promised that the state government would look into the root cause of the fire outbreak.
Some officials of the fire service in Asaba, who did not want their names mentioned, said they arrived at the scene after the fire had already razed the market.
Cable Point Market is as old as the Royal Niger Company established by the British traders, who came to Asaba through the River Niger for business transaction.
As of the time of filing this report, some policemen were seen watching over the place with a view to ensuring that hoodlums did not enter the premises to cart away some of the property that were saved. (Punchng.com)