By Chuks Eke
Traders at the popular Nkpor Main market in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra state, near the commercial city of Onitsha are now counting their losses, following a fire incident that ravaged a section of the market .
The fire incident, according the sources, sparked off at about 2 a.m. early Wednesday and brought down over 30 shops before the traders mobilized themselves and managed to put it off at dawn.
Confirming the incident, Chairman of the market, Chief Paul Okafor told newsmen in his office on Wednesday morning that the fire exploded from a cold room shop and spread to other nearby shops.
Okafor whose own wine shop was also gutted by the inferno, said the fire affected shoos loaded with paints, curtains, gum, l shoe leathers, shoe polish, wines, hot drinks, thinners, among others, adding that although as at that press time, the final estimation of the total goods damaged have not been determined, a rough sketch showed that the value of burnt goods would not be less than N300 million.
The market leader lamented that all the phone calls put across to the state fire service did not yield any dividend as they did not show up until the traders themselves mobilized and put it off very late.
He therefore called on the state government to station some fire fighter vehicles under the flyover bridge at Nkor main market to serve the three major markets within the vicinity, including New Auto Spare Parts Market, Mercedes Benz Lorry Okd Spare Parts Market, New Tyre Market and the Main market in any fire incident.
He also called on the state and Idemili North local governments and pblic spirited individuals and groups to come to the aid of the affected traders in order to bounce back to business as soon as possible.
In his sympathy message to the traders, a patrin of Anambra Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, ASMATA and President of Building Materials Traders Association, Chief Jude Nwankwo, expressed his heart felt sympathy for the victims, also called on government and individuals and groups to assist the victims.
Nwankwo suggested that market leaders should provide fire extinguishers in their various markets to mitigate the effects f fire disasters particularly at nights, using their night guards to operated the fire extinguishers if fire broke out at nights, while waiting for fire service men.