Early morning fire destroys goods, hard currencies in Benin

Edo fire

Buildings on fire in the Benin fire incident

By Jethro Ibileke

Goods worth billions of naira and cash, including foreign currencies were on Tuesday burned to ashes in an early morning fire that gutted a building in Benin, Edo State.

The building which housed about 20 stores, is located not too far away from Eki Osa Market, by Third Junction, Ikpoba Okha local government area of the state.

Among the victims of the fire disaster in the ill-fated building are Bureau De Change operators and traders of different kinds of goods, including provisions, electronic gadgets and generators.

It gathered that the fire started between 1:30 and 2 am.

One of the victim, Sani Yalubu, who is also the caretaker of the building, said the cause of the fire has not been known.

“The fire started between 1:30 and 2am and we don’t known the cause of the fire. 20 shops were affected and all the good were destroyed,” he said.

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“I was at home when they called to inform me that the building was engulfed in fire. We could not savage our goods as the whole shops were on flame.

“Traders and Bureau De Change operators have shops here. Aside the goods, dollars, Euro and other international currencies as well as local currency burnt to ashes in the fire.

“Nobody was able to take anything out of his shop, provisions, electronic gadget, generators among others including dollars and Euros were destroyed. I can say billions of naira was lost to fire.”

Another trader, Ugochinyere Francis, lamented that she lost over a million in the fire that razed her shops.

“We couldn’t do anything when we came because the flame was much that no one could go near the fire. I lost over a million naira.

“I have a shop here and my mother also has shops. I sell cosmetics and other articles. They called me at about 2 am that our shops were on fire, but before we reached here, the fire was such that no one could go near it,” she lamented.

The victims appealed to the government to come to their aid as their means of livelihood have been destroyed.

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