Fire razes Warri auto parts market, goods worth millions of naira lost

The Warri auto spare parts market was on Monday razed by a raging fire less than two weeks after a similar inferno completely destroyed goods worth millions at the popular pessu market and Syracuse hospital located in the oil-rich city.

At the time of filing this report, traders in the market, mainly of Igbo extraction, were battling to retrieve what remained of their wares in the crowded market located on Lower Erejuwa area.

The mysterious fire which started in the early hours of today, consumed several blocks of shops and assorted automobile spare-parts, running into hundreds of millions of naira.

Heaps of charred merchandise were seen all around the block of shops, although it could not be ascertained what the cause of the inferno was.

Some of the traders told our correspondent that the fire could not have been caused by an electrical fault as there was power outage at the time the fire started.

Chairman of the traders’ association, Chief Donatus Chiaha, said more than fifty shops, belonging to about 200 traders, were razed in the inferno. It was learnt that the fire started at about 3:00am and was still raging at about 2pm this afternoon.

Chiaha said: “The loss here, though I cannot say exactly, but it runs into hundreds of millions because I have nothing less than 200 men trading here because you sometimes have two to three persons in one shop and they are all doing well here.

“This is a very big loss because most of our boys came back, geared up for the year; some borrowed money from cooperatives, from village meetings, from different sources, in order to prepare for business in the first quarter of the year or the whole year.

“All of us borrowed with the intention of paying back at the end of the year, but what has happened is really unfortunate.”

Another victim of the fire incident, who gave his name as Boniface Ozuo, claimed to have lost goods worth more than N3m.

“Millions of naira have been lost to this fire, I cannot estimate it. I personally have lost more than three million,’’ he said.

It was gathered that the fire service which initially rushed to the scene of the fire, were later turned back when the officials complained that they didn’t have enough water.

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