No fewer than six persons were killed and several others injured on Thursday when fire broke out at the Tipper Market on 3rd Avenue, Gwarinpa in Abuja.
The inferno was said to have started from a spark in one of the shops and raged on for about two hours before the arrival of the Federal Fire Service.
BusinessDay gathered that firefighters did not arrive at the scene until 2am after the market had been engulfed by fire.
Five bodies were recovered from the fire and taken to the morgue, one was burnt to ashes while those injured were rushed to the hospital.
It was learnt that some of the victims of the fire incident were sleeping in their shops.
An eyewitness was quoted saying, “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.”
Miscreants and criminals took advantage of the situation to vandalise the shops and carry out other nefarious activities before the firefighters arrived.