*Ortom donates N30b to victims
It was a black day for traders in Wadata Market in Makurdi, Benue state capital as their goods estimated over one billion naira were burnt to ashes at the early hours of Wednesday January 2, 2019.
It was gathered that the fire started at about 1am from the poultry section of the market and spread through the fish section to the palm oil and grains section of the market.
Sources disclosed that for more than four hours, both the state Fire Service and individuals battled to put out the fire and eventually brought it under control at about 5am.
As at the time of filing this report smoke was still seething from the wreckage even as traders whose shops were affected were seen trying to salvage what was left of their wares.
Some of the affected traders seen crying as they counted their loses while watching helplessly how the fire had reduced their shops to rubles.
Some of the affected traders called on government to come to their aid as most of them had to take loans to stock their shops ahead of the new year.
The Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Doo Shave noted that the Fire Service received a call from one of the affected traders around 2am after he said he quickly mobilised the fire trucks to the scene and eventually put the fire under control around 5am.
While noting that the State Fire Service is now well equipped to fight fire specially within the state capital, Shave however noted that the Service would need smoke detector to better swiftly respond to incidence of fire in the state.
“We have five functional trucks in the state now. We did not arrive late but we got their as soon as we reported. We do not have smoke detectors. Fire was reported to us at about 2am and within ten minutes we mobilized to the scene.”
Meanwhile, the state Governor, Samuel Ortom who also visited the scene of the fire incidence announced that the sum of N30 million be made available to the traders to help cushion the effect of their loses.