Okey Sampson, Aba
Textile materials worth millions of naira went into flames as parts of the popular Ekeoha Shopping centre went up in flames, on Tuesday.
This was even as six security men who were on duty when the fire started have been arrested by the police for questioning.
It was gathered that the fire which completely razed shops in zones 1and 6 that were stocked with recently imported lace and lycra fabrics, started at about 3.00am and lasted till 7.30am.
The cause of the inferno remains a mystery to traders in the market as none of them has knowledge of the cause of the fire incident.
When newsmen visited the scene, some market executives were seen in their night wears assisting police to bring the fire under control.
A source at the market told our reporter that men of the fire service who reportedly came with two trucks to put out the fire, prevented it from spreading to other areas of the market.
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Speaking to newsmen, the caretaker chairman of Eke-Oha Shopping Centre, Friday Dimiri said: “At 3.00am, I got a distress call from security men here about fire outbreak in the market. I quickly called the fire-fighters and also got the police involved to avoid theft.
“I rushed down here with my team and we have been here doing the much we can to calm things down here.
“The fire men with most of us who came earlier and with the help of God Almighty, helped in making sure that the fire didn’t spread to other parts of the market.
“The police on their own have arrested the security men who serve here for questioning to enable them understand what happened.
“The actual worth of goods damaged by the fire cannot be ascertained yet as proper estimate with the owners have not been done. We will cooperate with the police to get to the bottom of the whole incident.”
All efforts made to reach the victims who were identified as Hillary Asogwa from Nsukka in Enugu State and Peter from Neni in Anambra State proved abortive.