Goods, shops, gov’t agency burnt as fire razes Edo market - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Goods, shops, gov’t agency burnt as fire razes Edo market

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A midday fire on Sunday swept through Ekiosa market in Benin City, Edo State capital  and burnt over 500 shops.

The inferno which lasted for several hours destroyed goods worth millions of naira and thereafter spread to Edo Development Property Authority (EDPA)

The fire also consumed a section of the tall building housing the development agency.

It was gathered that the fire started at about 12.10pm following a spark arising from power surge in one of the locked-up shop even as it defiled all efforts by sympathizers to put it off

Our correspondent observed during a visit to the market, the entire market has been razed by the rampaging fire.

There was tension in the area after angry youths attacked operatives of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) fire service truck.

The personnel had arrived the scene to assist in putting out the ravaging fire at the EDPA building.

One of the youth who identified himself as Yinka Tony said: “from what we are seeing, this people (fire fighters) deliberately did not come and save these traders goods.

“You can see that because the fire has spread to EDPA, they came and want to put off the fire… and we are saying no way.  It won’t happen here,” Tony said.

The timely arrival of soldiers and other security agency saved what could have degenerated to anarchy.

Also, an eyewitness who simply identified himself as Edosa said: “I leave in the neigbourhood; I was in my house when we heard the market women shouting fire, fire shortly after BEDC brought light around 12 noon.

“We all ran into the market and discovered that the shop that was burning was locked. So we could not do much to put out the fire. And before we could say jack, it (fire) has spread to other shops.

“Some people called fire service, their response was that they don’t have water and at this time, we could not put the fire out with bare hands,” Edosa said.