An early morning fire outbreak has destroyed parts of the `Pipeline Timber Market’ in Benin, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports
An eyewitness, Mr Precious Emmanuel, told NAN in Benin that the fire started at about 3 a.m., adding that the prompt response of the fire service helped to save some parts of the market.
“We woke up to see that the market was on fire. We believe that the fire was caused by those boys who smoke Indian hemp in the market.
“The intervention of the state fire service saved the situation. They responded quickly to the distress call put across to them,’’ Emmanuel said.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Pipeline Timber Market, Mr Osaremen Monday, told NAN that the source of the fire was still unknown.
According to Monday, timber and machines worth millions of naira were destroyed in the fire.
He appealed to the state government to assist those whose shops were affected, stressing that the market was their only source of livelihood.
Some of the affected traders, Mr Emmanuel Nwadiwe and Mrs Josephine Okotoe, said they lost over N5 million in the inferno.
In his comments, the state’s Director of Fire Service, Mr Frankly Agbolahor, described the incident as sad, adding however, that the timely intervention of his men saved the day.
“When we got the distress call, our men immediately mobilised to the scene of the fire and put out the fire,” Agbolahor said.