Again, fire razes Otukpo main Market

Early hours of Wednesday, a fire has burnt down some sections of Otukpo main Market in Otukpo town in Benue State.

An eyewitness who identified himself as Donald told our correspondent on the phone that the fire started around 6:00 am and burnt down about 100 shops with property worth millions of naira destroyed.

Donald said, “The Firefighters responded swiftly but due to the nature of the market, they could not do anything because they were not able to access the area.

Chairman of Otukpo local government, George Alli who confirmed the fire incident, added that the timely intervention of the Fire Service prevented the fire from spreading to other sections of the market.

Alli said that the fire affected building materials section, electronics and plastic materials sections of the market.

The chairman expressed sadness over the fire incident but said he could not qualify the worth of property lost to the fire.

According to Alli, “Early hours of this morning, I got a call that there was a fire incident at the Otukpo Main market and I quickly put a call through to the Fire Service and they promptly responded and put out the fire.

“We lost about 64 shops. The market is actually chocked and we are trying to see how we can put access roads in the market. We are urging the traders association to cooperate with the local government on this.

“At a point, they took us to court but eventually withdrew. We need their cooperation on this because the traders are always at the receiving end whenever this kind of incidence happen.

“This development is sad. I sympathise with the traders of the affected shops and feel their losses in these trying times. I thank God that no life was lost. I want to also commend men of the Otukpo Fire Service for quickly responding to the calls to contain the fire.”

Alli further said, “Going forward, we will have to stamp our feet and restructure the market to allow fire service truck and other equipments free movement within the market like we are currently doing with the burnt shops we are rebuilding. This will safeguard lives and properties of traders and customers in the market in the event of emergency.

It will be recalled that the same market was razed down in March, this year and destroyed about 200 shops with property worth millions of naira burnt.

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