Recurrent Fire Outbreak in Kano Engulfs Sabon Gari Market, Property In Millions of Naira Destroyed
Again, a mid-night fire has, for the second time, gutted the popular Sabon Gari Market in Kano state, Friday, destroying properties worth millions of Naira. An eye witness account told our correspondent in Kano on Saturday that the fire, which started around 12:30am, destroyed several shops in the market.
The witness further said that, the fire had also razed the footwear section of the market as men of the state Fire Service spent a long time battling to control the inferno. When contacted, the Director of the state Fire Service, Alhaji Mustapha Rulwan, who confirmed the incident, said the fire started at about 1am and had destroyed several shops in the market.
According to him, “Our men are still trying to put out the fire, and as I am talking to you now, we are in the market,” he said. This is the second time in five months that the Sabon Gari Market is seen gutted by fire. As at the time of filling this report, the cause(s) of the fire, which is in the Christian predominant area, has not yet been ascertained.
A total of 4,000 shops were burnt to ashes in the Fire incident, which occurred on Friday. The midnight inferno, allegedly triggered by electric power surge, also affected a new generation bank located in the area. However, Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) has distanced itself from the unfortunate incident.
Briefing newsmen, KEDCO Chief Customer Relations Officer, Abubakar Yusuf, said the market-feeder was ‘out of circuit’ at the time of the incident. Yusuf said, “Our transformer located within the market is intact, and it is there for anyone to examine and pass judgment.”
Eyewitnesses, however, said that the fire, which started around 12:00 midnight, lasted till 12 noon of that day. As at the last count, over 4,000 shops that occupied half of the entire stretch of the market were reduced to ashes. Efforts by the state Fire Service and a private company that mobilised men and resources to combat the fire early enough were unsuccessful.
Armed security deployed to the scene were equally overwhelmed as desperate hoodlums struggled to salvage their efforts and carted away what remained of the shops – in such a chaotic situation.
Kano State Government, through the Commissioner of Environment, Alhaji Ali Bukar
Makoda, suspended the monthly environmental sanitation exercise to enable firefighters from neighbouring states lend a helping hand to curtail the fire. A victim, Ali Kofar Mata, told our reporter that, “We have lost our livelihood trying to fight the fire, and I don’t know where we are going to start from.”