Properties worth millions of naira have been engulfed by fire along Ikwerre road by Market junction, Mile 4 Rumueme, Obia-Akpor Local Government Area in Rivers State.
Business owners who counted their loses after their shops was razed down by fire explained that the fire started from one foam shop who called in a welder to weld his gate, added that fire took over the foam shop which affected all shops around the building.
One of the victims whose shop was totally destroyed by the fire has described it as an avoidable hazard.
The fire burnt down over 13 lock-up shops and several items of furniture displayed for sale.
Some victims of the fire incident who spoke to our Correspondent expressed sadness over the incident.
They called on the state government to come to their aid.
“My brother is meant to do his wedding on the 28th of this month but now see the whole thing all our goods is lost. We want the government to at least assist us and to come to our aid.”
Meanwhile, some eyewitness said the fire broke out from a welding shop around 11am, on Monday.
“The fire started from one shop over there, they said the owner of the shop called a welder from there fire stated burning one of the foam and from there they whole place started burning”, he said.
They also expressed displeasure over the failure of the state fire service to respond to several text messages and calls made to them.
Our correspondent, who was at the scene of the fire, reports that residents and sympathizers resulted to self-help due to the non-availability of the state fire-fighters.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Upholstery Union, Kalu Ukoha has described the fire incidence as unfortunate and advised his members to insure their businesses.
The chairman also called for more education in firefighting to help curb the spread of fire.