Lack of access prolonged Karu market fire, says FEMD

The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Department (FEMD) says lack of access caused a delay in putting out the fire at the Karu old market in Abuja on Thursday.

The acting Director-General of the department, Mrs Florence Wenegieme, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

Wenegieme underscored the need for access to market, public and private buildings by fire service personnel and trucks during fire outbreak for quick interventions to reduce losses.

She said that the fire started around 6:30 p.m. but was brought under control by the combined team of FEMD, FCT Fire Service, Federal Fire Service and Julius Berger Fire Service.

According to her, the efforts prevented the fire from spreading to surrounding houses.

She, however, explained that it was not the new Karu Market currently under construction that was engulfed by the fire, but an informal market and settlement behind the new market.

She said: “there are Fire Stations at two locations in Karu; we have the Karu Fire Station, and a Fire Station and firefighting truck in the new Karu Market under construction.

“Firefighting trucks arrived at the scene of the fire on time but could not get access to the market to put out the fire on time.

“We had to break walls to pass the firefighting water horses through, to be able to put out the fire,” the acting D-G said.

She added that goods worth millions of naira were lost, but no life was lost to the fire.

She further said that personnel of the Nigeria police, Nigeria army and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were also on ground for crowd control.

Wenegieme thanked the Department of Engineering, Federal Capital Development Authority for activating Julius Berger Fire Service to provide the needed support.

She said that investigation was ongoing to determine the cause of the fire.

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