REPORTER: NDU NWANNAH
Fire has gutted a popular Mobile Phones Plaza on Zik Avenue, near the Eke Awka Market Roundabout.
However, the quick intervention of the men of the Anambra State Fire Servicceaverted colossal destruction during the incident, which occurred on Tuesday evening.
The fire outbreak was recorded on the last floor of the T.N. Uzoka Plaza, opposite Eke Awka Market Three around 7pm.
The fire was said to have started, following the restoration of power to the plaza and other parts of Awka.
However, following an emergency call to the State Fire Service, its personnel arrived in few minutes with truck to the scene and immediately mobilized to control the already raging inferno.
As a result, the fire was stopped from causing damage to adjoining shops, buildings and other plazas located within the vicinity.
The Fire Chief of the Anambra State Fire Service, Dr. Martin Agbili, who led the Emergency Rescue Team, told Radio Nigeria that the service was able to extinguish the fire, which had already consumed phones, batteries and other accessories in the shop where the inferno started.
He commended shop owners and members of the public, who were already controlling the spread of the fire before the arrival of his men.
Dr. Agbili who attributed the preliminary cause of the fire to power surge, urged citizens to always put off their electrical appliances when not in use.
Reacting to the incident, the Chairman of the Plaza, Comrade Victor Okechukwi Ojiani, said he left office around 5.30pm, only to receive a distress call at about 7.15pm that the plaza was being consumed by fire.
Comrade Ojiani noted that from his assessment, the shop owner left his power change over on, leading to electrical sparks, when electricity was restored.
He commended the quick intervention of the Fire Service and appealed to the Anambra State Government to create a Muster Point within the Eke Awka Market axis to help in containing such emergencies in future.
Explosion of batteries increased the intensity of the fire, leading to damage to few shops and the roof of the plaza, while laptops, phones and gadgets in the closet shops were evacuated.
EDITED BY CHUKWUBUIKE MADU