Mystery fire on New Year Day destroyed Obi Isiedo foodstuff market, Okpuno-Egbu, Umudim, Nnewi, Anambra State where over 250 makeshift shops were consumed in the night.
Eyewitnesses said the fire started around 10:00 pm at one shop and later escalated to several others where the owners left their goods and some cash with which to continue business after the festivities.
The source said over seven water tankers were mobilized including other individual efforts to the scene which could not stop the fire.
A resident within the market vicinity whose house and orange tree were also touched, Pastor Chinedu Dike said that no one could explain what caused the fire.
“As you can see, my house is near the market. I came back from some functions and was taking my rest when around 9:30 pm we heard an outcry that the market was on fire.
“People started running helter skelter looking for help and water tanker suppliers were contacted who mobilized up to seven tanks of water to quench the fire to no avail.
“Fire fighters came but the fire was already advanced. Goods worth millions of naira were destroyed. My two storey building under construction was about to be consumed but I struggled to save the situation and received some bruises in the process, ” he said.
Pastor Dike put the figure of the burnt shops at between 250 and 300 stocked with goods. Most of the traders were said to have borrowed money from banks to stock their goods for the season.
He appealed to Anambra State governement, organizations and individuals to come to the rescue of the fire victims. He said the help would be a big relief to the victims, if it could come early.