A fire outbreak in Anambra state has destroyed at least 10 shops and a residential building in the Idemili North Local Government Area of the State.
The fire incident occurred late on Sunday night near the Afor Nkpor Market, Oraukwu Crescent/Nkpor Old Road.
It’s gathered that the inferno was caused by a power surge from one of the shops in the market.
An eyewitness near the scene, who simply identified himself as Bassey, said, “The fire started from one of the shops on Sunday night. We were in a nearby drinking joint when suddenly we heard a loud noise that sounded like a thunder and before we knew it, the entire place was engulfed by a thick smoke.
“We then rushed out and used sand and whatever that was within reach to try to quench the fire but to no avail as it continued to extend to other shops. We continued in our effort but the fire resisted our efforts.
“For about 30 minutes, we were fighting the inferno but it worsened and by then half of the shops and residential building had been razed completely.
“As we continued the fight, personnel of the state fire service stormed the place and in anger, angry youths stoned them and they ran away with their truck. The firemen were pursued and their vehicle damaged in the process but they managed and escaped with it.”
A resident of the area who pleaded anonymity also corroborated Bassey’s account
“God saved the fire service men because the angry youths wanted to lynch them for coming late to the scene of the incident” Punch quoted him as saying.
“However, the entire shops and a residential building were destroyed beyond recognition as the fire resisted efforts to quench it, it resulted in stampede as it occurred in most of the shops within the premises touched by the inferno.
“Goods worth millions of naira, that were mostly provisions in about 10 shops, POS services, salon, among others, were damaged beyond recognition by the ravaging inferno.
“No life was lost but scores sustained various degrees of injuries as a result of stampede. Gas cylinders stored in some of the shops were said to have escalated the inferno.”