In the early hours of Wednesday, a fire outbreak broke out at the Yan Katako Market located in Sabon Gari, Zaria, Kaduna State.
News About Nigeria gathered that the inferno which reportedly started at around 1 am, continued until afternoon, burning over 150 shops and destroying property worth millions of Naira.
According to Hamisu Buhari, the Chief Security Officer of the market, the fire began when the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company restored power, and an electric pole fell on the roof of one of the shops.
Efforts to attract fire service agencies within the area proved abortive, and the situation worsened as the fire spread to other shops.
Buhari disclosed that he personally went to the Kofar Doka Fire Service office, but was informed that their operational vehicle was not in good shape.
He was eventually able to contact the fire service at the Sabon Gari Main Market, who requested that he provide fuel for them before they could come to the scene.
Alhaji Alin Ashiru, the chairman of Timber dealers in the market, attributed the inferno to an electric spark, while Abdul Azeez Abdullahi, the Head of Corporate Affairs at KEDCO, denied that electricity sparked the fire outbreak. He alleged that reports received indicated that the fire started in one of the shops in the market and spread to other shops.
The tragic incident has once again highlighted the need for the government and market owners to prioritize fire safety in public places. Several community members have called for collaborative efforts between stakeholders to prevent market fires and provide adequate firefighting equipment.
Meanwhile, traders affected by the Yan Katako Market fire are counting their losses, with many left devastated by the incident. An investigation has been launched to ascertain the cause of the fire outbreak, and steps are being taken to prevent future occurrences.