Fire razes shops, destroys goods in Anambra

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No fewer than 15 shops were razed following a fire outbreak at the Isuanuocha community in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

It was gathered that the inferno, which started at about 12 am on Thursday, lasted throughout the night.

The cause of the fire could not be ascertained but eyewitnesses said it took the assistance of neighbours in the area before the fire was put out after several phone calls to the Anambra State Fire Service yielded no result.

The source said the shop owners had gone home when a security man on duty noticed the brazen fire from one of the shops and started alerting the people.

The victims who spoke to journalists, on Thursday, lamented that several phone calls were put across to the Anambra State fire service, but there was no response.

One of them, Mrs Florence Ekemezie, who sells drinks and food, said she lost four deep freezers, five standing fans, two refrigerators, a generator, cartons of drinks, coolers, plates, and other valuables in her four shops.

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Another victim, a cloth maker, Mr. Chukwuebuka Okeke, said he lost five industrial machines, seven tailoring machines, and other sewing equipment worth millions of naira to the fire.

While recounting their losses, the victims lamented that they did not insure their goods as they appealed for urgent government assistance.

The owner of the structure, Chief Cletus Okafor, appealed to both government and good-spirited individuals to come to the aid of the victims.

Okafor added that he only depends on the proceeds from the shop rent to feed his family having retired from active service.

Another victim, who sells provisions, said he did not bring out any item from his shop, including cash of N400,000 he kept in the drawer.

While counting their losses, they appealed to both the federal, state, and individuals to come to their rescue.

The Executive Secretary, Anambra State Emergency Management Agency, Chief Paul Odenigbo, said a team would be sent to take inventory and assessment of the level of damage done with a view to making a case on their behalf.

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