What could have been a major fire disaster was averted at Enugu Main Market on Friday.
However, mattresses worth millions of Naira were lost to the fire outbreak which occurred around 2pm.
It was gathered that the cause of the fire was power generating sets which the market union mandated every shop owner to keep decking of the person’s shop.
A trader, Mr. Anene Chima who narrated the incident said there were about three generating sets and mattresses packed up at a decking where the fire occurred.
Chima said explained that the heat from the generator set the mattresses on fire.
When contacted, Enugu State Chief Fire Officer, Mr. Okwudiri Ohaa confirmed the incident.
Ohaa said the market nearly went up in flames but for the prompt response of combined efforts of the State Fire service, traders and market security personnel.
“That training we gave the traders paid off when the traders and security men led by one Fela, used the knowledge gained from the fire training program to put out the inferno and stop it from escalating.
“The fire started at a foam (mattress) shop and was rampaging to adjoining shops but was immediately arrested by traders making good use of the fire extinguishers installed in all corners of the market to combat the fire before our prompt intervention,” Ohaa said.
He expressed happiness that the traders lived up to expectation by putting their fire training knowledge by the State Fire service to work before his men could arrive the scene.
Ohaa appealed to traders to be careful and always be on the lookout especially this harmattan period to avoid fire disaster in the market, emphasizing that the market authority should make the roads leading to and around the market accessible to fire trucks in case of any eventuality.
The Fire boss regretted that his men fought so hard for about half an hour to gain access into the market because blockage of access roads by illegal shops in the market.
Ohaa appreciated Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for the provision of fire extinguishers in the market and for his support to the State Fire Service, pointing out that the governor’s proactive measures had saved the situation.