Goods and properties worth millions of Naira were destroyed after wide fire ravaged a well-known Fruit Garden market in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Fire was said to have started at around 7:00pm on Thursday 27 September 2018, a day that Nigeria labour Congress, NLC, declared a nation wide strike.
According to source who pleaded anonymity, said at the time when the fire started, the security at the main gate of the market refused entry.
“when the wide fire started, we were all at the gate. We tried to fight against the fire initially but security men at the gate could not allowed us.
“The even threatened to cut us with there cutlass if we should try to come in.
“We waited to see if measures to fight the fire would be taken, but all to avail. The security men later ran out of the market premises when they found out that they could no longer contend with it”, the source added.
Majority of Traders in the market also observed the nation wide strike declared by NLC, and the market was totally short down.
Meanwhile the cause of the fire has not been ascertained, but sources claimed the fire stated as a result of burning wire. They claimed it occurred after an electric wire sparked out fire.
Some traders who own shops in the fruit Garden market were lucky enough to get their goods out on from their shops on time, while some were not lucky enough.
Some goods and properties were rescued in time by shop owners during to the long distance from the starting point and the time the information got to them.
However, sympathizers tried out as much as they can to rescue some of the goods and properties from the market.
Security guards at the entrance to one Living Faith Church very close to the Fruit Garden market, blocked people who tried to access the church premises to get water.
“As you can see security guards at the gate refused to allow us in. We tried to access the church compound to get water to fight this fire.
“They were asking us at the gate if we were members of the church and refused to allow us inside the premises,” Ade said in pains when explaining to our correspondent at the scene.
Fire fighters arrived the scene after about 45% of all shops in the market were burnt down. Angry youths who were bittered about the situation and the late arrival of Men of the Rivers State Fire services violently chased them back.
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