Goods worth billions of naira have been destroyed in a fire outbreak at ‘Yan Katako’ Market in Sabon Gari, Zaria, Kaduna State.
The fire, which started around 1am on Wednesday, 26 April, continued till afternoon, destroying no fewer than 150 shops.
Hamisu Buhari, Chief Security Officer of the market, said the fire began when Kaduna Electric restored power and an electric pole sparked and fell on the roof of one of the shops.
“The fire spread to other shops in the market,” he said.
Buhari further stated that efforts to attract fire service agencies within the area proved abortive.
“I personally went to the Kofar Doka Fire Service office. I was informed that their operation vehicle was not in good shape. I then proceeded to the Kongo campus of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) where I was told they had been directed not to operate outside the university premises.
“I finally contacted the fire service at the Sabon Gari Main Market. They asked me to provide fuel for them, which I did before they responded,” he added.
In an interview, the chairman of Timbershed in the market, Alhaji Alin Ashiru, also attributed the inferno to an electric spark from an electricity pole.
He stated that more than 150 shops had been burnt to ashes and that property worth millions of naira had been destroyed.
When contacted, the Head of Corporate Affairs, KEDCO, Abdul Azeez Abdullahi, denied that electricity sparks caused the inferno.
He said reports received indicated that the fire incident started in one of the shops in the market.
Similarly, Umar Mohammed, Head of Fire Service, Kofar Doka, Zaria said their vehicle was not operational due to a recent accident after a rescue operation at the Nigerian Army Depot.
Daily Trust reports that fire disasters in major markets have become a recurring decimal in Nigeria in recent times with billions of money and property lost.
Recently in Kano, fire razed three major markets; there have also been fire incidents in Kurmi Market where books are sold and Rimi Market where furniture and spices are sold.
The Executive Secretary of the Kano State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Saleh Jilih, had said preliminary findings put the worth of wealth destroyed in the inferno at about N6 billion.