An inferno has razed over 90 shops at Uwelu spare parts, which is the biggest spare parts market in Egor local government area of Edo state.
The fire, which destroyed goods worth millions in the affected area, was described by traders as having negative impact on their businesses.
It was observed that sections of the market affected include the lines where Mercedes Benz, Mazda, Ford and Toyota parts are sold.
DAILY POST reports that 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 but lasted till 4am on Tuesday as fire service men from the University of Benin and the Nigerian Army made efforts to quench it.
Sympathisers were seen around the spare parts market, even as the victims were being consoled.
One of the victim, Festus Maxwell Osaeruoname wondered how the fire spread rapidly when there was no power supply to the market.
”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 opened their shops. They are yet to repay the loans they took from various banks.”
Chairman of the Spare Sparts Dealers Association, Mr. Ibie Osaretin Augustine said the fire incident has compounded the low patronage they have been witnessing due to bad state of the road leading to the market.
Augustine said the four security guards 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 nearby 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.
“We beg the state government to rebuild the market because we are using loan from micro-finance bank.”