Firefighter killed, 40 shops destroyed as fire guts Enugu spare parts market

Goods worth several millions of naira have been destroyed in a fire incident that occurred at the Enugu Motor Spare Parts Market, known as Tinker.

The fire also claimed the life of the watch officer of the State Fire Service, Chigozie Ugwu slumped and died after he and his group successfully stopped the fire.

According to the president, of Enugu Motor Spare Parts Dealers Association, Mike Nome, the fire started in the wee hours of Wednesday from a shop.

He said: “I got a call from one of our security men around midnight that our market was on fire. Our security men promptly rushed to stop it when they noticed the fire. But when they got to the shop, they noticed that it was further locked with burglary proof.

“As they were battling to break into the shop, the fire escalated into the next shop which operated a restaurant, and immediately a gas cylinder inside the restaurant got exploded, thereby spreading the fire to several shops.

“When the fire went beyond us, I called the state fire service around 1.00 am and they promptly came in less than 15 minutes to stop the fire from spreading to other areas.”

He disclosed that no fewer than 40 traders had their shops totally burnt and destroyed in the fire.

The chief fire officer of the Enugu State Fire and Emergency Service, Okwudili Ohaa, confirmed the incident, saying that they arrived at about 1.15 am, adding that the officers were able to control the fire with about three fire trucks.

He stated however that one of his dedicated staff, Engr. Chigozie Ugwu was lost to the inferno when he had already stopped the fire.

He added: “He was a dedicated officer, who loved to lead by example. He was my best fire officer. He was not actually supposed to come to work because he was still recuperating from an illness but due to his passion for the job, he decided to join the team. We have been able to quench the outbreak that took us more than two hours. It was a huge one.”

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