…Goods worth millions of naira were reportedly destroyed by the fire
No fewer than 15 shops have been razed by fire in Isuanuocha community, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra state.
Goods worth millions of naira were reportedly destroyed by the inferno which started at about 12am on Wednesday.
The Daily Vendor gathered that it took the intervention of neighbors in the area to quell the fire after several unsuccessful phone calls put across to the State Fire Service.
Narrating his ordeal, one of the victims, Okafor Somadina said they were fast asleep when some of them were alerted by a security man on duty who noticed the fire from one of the shops.
“Immediately we were alerted, a few Individuals who had phone numbers of the state fire service started calling them, but, regrettably, they didn’t respond,” he said.
Another victims, Mrs. Florence Ekemezie who sells drinks and food, said she lost four deep freezers, five standing fans, two refrigerators, a generator, cartons of drinks, coolers, plates, and other valuables in the four shops she was occupying.
A tailor, Chukwuebuka Okeke who said he had been in the business over five years, listed items he lost to the fire to include five industrial machines, seven tailoring machines and other sewing equipment worth millions of naira.
“I began fending for myself five years ago, I lost Five industrial machines, seven tailoring machines, and other sewing equipment worth millions of naira.
Another victim, who sells wholesale provisions, said he could not bring out any item from the shop, including cash of N400,000 he kept in the drawer.
He appealed to both the Federal, state, and wealthy individuals to coming to their rescue as some of them could be forced to take their own lives following inability to cope with the present economic hardship in the country.
Owner of the structure, Chief Cletus Okafor, a retiree lamented that he depended on proceeds from the shop rents to feed his family.
He however expressed appreciation to God for sparing lives of all the shop owners during the incident that lasted all night, appealing to government and good spirited individuals for assistance.
Reacting, Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Chief Paul Odenigbo, sympathized with the victims, urged them not to lose hope.
He promised that a team would be sent to take inventory and assessment of the level of damage with a view to making case on their behalf.