A midnight fire has razed over 90 shops at the biggest spare parts market in Edo State at Uwelu in Egor local government area.

A midnight fire has razed over 90 shops at the biggest spare parts market in Edo State at Uwelu in Egor local government area.

The fire was said to have destroyed good worth millions as some of the affected traders were said to have just bought their goods.

It was observed that sections of the market affected are the lines where Mercedes Benz, Mazda, Ford and Toyota parts are sold.

Some of the traders collapsed when they visited the scene.

One of them was said to have almost ran into the raging fire but was stopped.

The fire was said to started at about 11:45pm on Monday and lasted till 4 am after efforts by fire service men from the University of Benin and the Nigerian Army quenched it.

When our reporter visited the spare parts market, sympathisers were seen around while the victims were being consoled.

Daniel Okungbowa, who said he lost about N4m worth of goods to the fire, said he deals in all types fuel and oil pumps.

Daniel said he was still confused on what next steps to take.

Another victim, Festus Maxwell Osaeruoname, wondered how the fire spread rapidly when there was no power supply to the market.

According to him: ” We are yet to ascertain what actually happened the led to the fire. We could not remove anything from our shops.

“Many boys that just got freedom from their masters and open their shops. They are yet to repay the loans they took from various banks.”

Chairman of Spare Sparts Delears Association, Mr. Ibie Osaretin Augustine, said the fire incident has compounded the low patronage they are witnessing due to bad roads that lead to the market.

Augustine said the four security guard hired by the traders were being questioned by the police.

He said he received an anonymous call that the market was on fire and when he called the security personnel on ground, he was told that it was somebody burning something in a close by street.

His words: “When the security man told me somebody was burning something, I told him to check properly and he told me it was the line where my shop is located that was on fire.

“I called the Edo Fire Service but they did not come. The entire market would have been razed if fire men had not come from UNIBEN and the Nigerian Army.

“For now, we do not suspect any foul play but we have held meeting to appease those affected and stood any suicidal attempt.

“We beg the state government to rebuild the market because we are using loan from micro-finance bank.”

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