Properties worth several millions of Naira were on Saturday night destroyed by fire at Satana market in Ipoba Okha local government area of Edo state.
It was gathered that the fire started at about 11:00pm in the market located on the Benin – Sapele road, after the traders had closed their stalls and went home.
Witness account said the fire outbreak might not be unconnected with high power voltage resulting in explosion in one of the stalls.
One of the shop owners in the market, Omoregie Solomon, said about 80 percent of the shops were razed with goods worth millions of Naira destroyed.
While lamenting that he was not able to savage his goods, he noted that those operating open shops that account for 95 percent of the trades in the market were mostly affected.
“At around 11pm, I had a distress call from the security officers from the market that there is a surge in power from the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, (BEDC) which ignited the fire in one of the shops.
“We contacted the state’s fire service but there was no response; it was a Good Samaritan from NNPC that now contacted their office to save the market from complete burnt,” he said.
Another trader, Madam Edobor, whose two shops were gutted by the fire said she could not savage her wares from the inferno.
“They called me that my shops were on fire but I could not save my goods as the shops were burnt completely. I took loans of about N2.5 million to buy rice, groundnut oil and tomatoes for this Christmas season market but I lost all to fire,” she narrated.
Another trader, a widow with five children simply identified as Madam Ero, lamented that she lost all her goods in the inferno.
“My husband died eight months ago. It was people that encouraged me to start coming to market. Now I am without a husband and a means of livelihood to take care of the children,” she said.