An early morning inferno that engulfed Tipper Market, 3rd Avenue, Gwarinpa in Abuja, has claimed the lives of six persons, with several others sustaining various degree of injuries.
According to witnesses, the fire outbreak which was caused by a spark in one of the shops, started at about 12am on Thursday and lasted for about two hours before the FCT Fire Service came to the scene.
One of the eyewitnesses told Daily Sun that firefighters didn’t arrive at the scene until 2 am, two hours after the market was engulfed by fire. The eyewitness who doesn’t want her name mentioned, said the firefighters claimed that they were not informed on time.
It was learnt that hoodlums took advantage of the crisis to vandalise shops rather than to rescue those trapped in the inferno. Firefighters were reportedly called after the hoodlums carried out their nefarious activities.
Five bodies were later evacuated to the morgue, while one was burnt to ashes and couldn’t be recovered. Others who sustained various degrees of injuries were rushed to the hospital.
Houses sharing fences with the market, were affected. Residents of War College Estate were woken up by the inferno and had to keep a vigil throughout last night.
One of the eyewitnesses narrated: “We were woken up last night at about 12am. Almost every resident of the Estate had to rush to the scene of the fire outbreak. We were all helpless and couldn’t do anything.
“For over two hours, firefighters didn’t come to the scene. Six people had already been burnt to death before they arrived. Some of the shop owners usually sleep there. So, they were trapped in their shops.“Many people have lost their sources of livelihood. Even private houses were burnt too. It was a sad situation. The corpses have been evacuated and the fire put out. It was caused by a spark in one of the shops.” (Sun)