Fire Outbreak Devastates Popular Watt Market in Calabar, Nigeria

by Ikem Emmanuel

In the early hours of a Thursday morning, disaster struck at Watt Market in Calabar, the capital of Cross River state, as a fierce fire outbreak ravaged the bustling shopping district. The fire, believed to have ignited due to an electrical surge, caused extensive damage to several shops, leaving millions of naira worth of goods in ruins.

The fire broke out at around 2:00 am, swiftly spreading through at least six shops located near the Hewett Street section of the popular Watt Market. The market, known for its vibrancy and bustling trade, became a scene of devastation as the flames engulfed the affected shops.

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Response from Federal Fire Service

The Commanding Officer of the Calabar Command of the Federal Fire Service, Olumayowa Olomola, confirmed the incident. She cited an electrical surge as the cause of the fire outbreak and emphasized the importance of taking preventive measures to avoid such incidents.


Olomola’s timely response and the efforts of her team were pivotal in preventing the fire from spreading further and affecting more shops and adjacent buildings. While an estimate of the losses incurred by the affected shop owners has not been provided, Olomola reported that goods worth millions of naira were destroyed in the blaze. Fortunately, there were no reported casualties, as the fire was primarily contained to the affected area.

Preventing Future Incidents

In the aftermath of the devastating fire, Olomola emphasized the importance of adopting preventive measures. She encouraged shop owners and the public to ensure that electrical appliances are switched off when not in use to mitigate the risk of electrical surges and potential fire outbreaks.

The Watt Market fire serves as a sobering reminder of the need for fire safety awareness and preparedness, not only in Calabar but in markets and commercial areas across the nation. As the affected shop owners grapple with the aftermath of the blaze, the community unites in the hope of rebuilding and restoring Watt Market to its vibrant and bustling state.

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