Saturday, 7 January 2017

How Early fire gutted Nkwo Nnewi as Timber Dealers lose over N3B Goods

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By Okechukwu Onuegbu

Goods worth over three billion naira including machines and other working tools have been razed to dust in the popular Nkwo Nnewi market, Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State following a fire outbreak at a session occupied by timber dealers.

According to an eyewitness simply identified as Ike Okoye, the inferno, which started around 12 midnight last Thursday, consumed over 550 Machines such as Sawing, Spraying, and Planing Machines, 150 shops, and other properties belonging to the traders.

The traders, who were in sorrow and agony, when visited, described their trivial as evil January, even as they recalled how the same section, dealing on woods and wood works was razed to dust in 2002, approximately fourteen years ago.

Although the cause of the fire outbreak was not ascertained at the time of filing this report, a staff of Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), who did not want his name mentioned in print for not been authorized to speak on the matter, said he suspected the inferno to had come through the dust generated and dumped in a gully erosion very close to the market by the carpentry section in the market. 

Confirming the report, however, the Chairman, Nnewi Timbers Dealers Association, Chukwunonso Nnaetu, flanked by his secretary, Jude Ugwu appealed to the federal, state governments, humanitarian organisations, and spirited individuals to come to their aid as five of their members were already hospitalised as a result of the shock they sustained from the outcome.

On his part, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, Johnson Okokomu, who stood in for the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Sam Okalua, urged members of the public to always guide against anything capable of causing fire outbreak both in their home and in their business places, especially this hammatarn period.

Okokomu, while thanking the State Fire Service for their gallantry in quenching the fire outbreak, said that the Nnewi Area Commander and the DPO in charge of Central Police Station (CPS), Nnewi were not only on ground but mobilised policemen who condone the market and protected it against hoodlums, who would have used the opportunity to cause more havoc.

Efforts made to reach the State Fire Service Commander for comment as at the time of hitting the press was not frightful as calls made across to his phone, kept repeating; 'not available now, call back later'.



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