Fire guts 200 shops in Cross River

About  200 shops were on Monday night razed by fire at Ikom main market in Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River State.

Chairman of the Lagos line of the market,Chika Anya said the intensity of the inferno was such that nothing could be salvaged from the affected shops.

According to him, the fire incident has been a reoccurring issue almost every year in the market.
He alleged that as with previous cases, the state fire service was unable to provide much support.

“All we want now is support from the government to% enable us get our lives back

“Government should also do the needful by having a functional fire service in Ikom and other council areas of the state,” Anya

One of the affected shop owners, Augustine Eze, said it was difficult to ascertain the cause of the fire as there was no electricity “and nobody is allowed to pass the night in the market.”

Eze said they got little support from the state fire service during the incident.

“This is not the first time we are having fire issue in the market and there is always no assistance to quench the fire since the state fire service lacks the equipment to fight one here,” Eze claimed

The state Director of Fire Service,Peter Okorebi, said they would investigate the cause of the fire and take preventive measures..

He said the shop owners have for long formed the habit of cooking in the shops inspite repeated warnings against such by the fire service

“Our safety officers have repeatedly advised them against this trend but they simply won’t listen,” he added.

The director debunked the claims that the fire service lacked the necessary facilities to contain fire outbreaks in the area.

Author: Maureen Ikpeama

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