Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Fire Razes Properties Worth Millions of Naira at Old Mile One Market in Port Harcourt

Fire Razes Properties Worth Millions of Naira at Old Mile One Market in Port Harcourt chiomaandy.com

For traders at mile one market make-shift shops, the Christmas season suddenly turned to melancholic season as fire early Tuesday morning burnt down goods and money worth hundreds of millions naira.
The fire razed the entire make shift shops and extended to the railway axis. A story building on 67 Ikwerre road that housed both families and commercial goods of people was also affected.
The fire was said to have started at the early hours of Tuesday 17th and continued until at about 4am when the fire service officials arrived with their vans.
Efforts to quench the fire at first proved abortive as the fire prevented the fire service van from getting close to quench the fire.

Fire at Mile One market Port Harcourt chiomaandy.com

Due to the nature of the shops which had no solid structure but mainly rubber materials and umbrellas as demarcations, the fire spread so fast that little or nothing was able to be rescued from the inferno.
Eye witnesses who were there before our reporter got to the scene said that as people were trying to get into the market to see what they could rescue, the fire drove them back and some not seeing oncoming vehicles ran into them and sustained serious injuries.
It was also alleged that some people lost their lives in the accident.
Fire at Mile One market Port Harcourt chiomaandy.com

Owners of the shops were seen standing in bewilderment with many of the women wailing in helplessness while refusing to speak to the press.
Speaking to the state’s Commissioner for Special Duties, Dickson Umunakwe, he said that as at 7am, the fire service men were still combating with the fire to prevent it from spreading to residential buildings around the market.
“We have been here with the fire fighting men. We are trying as much as possible to stop the fire from going to the adjoining buildings. We are also working hand in hand with the security agencies to prevent people from carrying out any criminality or looting what is left of the market.
“We are also aware that some traders stored very highly combustible materials in their shops that was said to have been exploding in the process. But we are not sure yet what the cause of the fire is,” Umunakwe said.
Fire at Mile One market Port Harcourt chiomaandy.com

Speaking to the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Ibim Semenitari, she said that there were many reasons that could have resulted to the inferno but that sabotage was not to be excluded.
“This is very distressing. To think that we are getting back to this age in Rivers State is very sad. We heard shooting of dynamite between 2 and 3 am coming from two areas of Port Harcourt: Abonima wharf area and the marine base area. Subsequently, we saw the fire outbreak in Mile One. As we speak, investigation is ongoing. Security agents are trying to find out what happened but we do hope they will get to the bottom of this.
“We certainly would appreciate information that would come from the public. But we urge Rivers people to remain prayerful, be on the alert, but also be security conscious and report any suspicious move,” Semenitari said.
Continuing, she said, “usually, fire takes people unawares, but this appears very suspicious and we are suspecting economic sabotage. There are several possibilities that could have led to the fire but at this point, we will not rule out anything. We are exploring all of the possible reasons, but again in the light of what is happening in the state, we will not rule out sabotage as it is.”

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