No fewer than six persons died on Thursday in a fire incident at Tippee Market on 3rd Avenue, Gwarinpa in Abuja.
The inferno also left several persons injured. The fire, according to an eyewitness, was caused by a spark in one of the shops around 12am.
It raged for about two hours before the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Fire Service got to the scene.
Another eyewitness told reporters that firefighters did not arrive at the scene until 2am after the market was engulfed by fire.
It was learnt that hoodlums who took advantage of the crisis, vandalised shops. They were said to have failed to rescue those trapped in the inferno.
Firefighters were reportedly called after the hoodlums carried out their nefarious activities. Five bodies were later evacuated to the morgue, while one was burnt to ashes and couldn’t be recovered.
Others who sustained various degrees of injuries were rushed to the hospital. Houses sharing fences with the market were also affected.
Residents of War College Estate had to keep vigil throughout the night.
One of the eyewitnesses said: “We were woken up last night at about 12am. Almost every resident of the Estate had to rush to the scene of the fire outbreak. We were all helpless and couldn’t do anything.
“For over two hours, firefighters didn’t come to the scene. Six people had already been burnt to death before they arrived. Some of the shop owners usually sleep there. So, they were trapped in their shops.
“Many people have lost their sources of livelihood. Even private houses were burnt too. It was a sad situation. The corpses have been evacuated and the fire put out. It was caused by a spark in one of the shops.”
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