Fire has razed down properties worth millions of naira, in Ojoto market, Mile 2 Diobu Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The fire, which started almost around 10pm on Thursday night, razed down over 200 shops.
The chairman of the market, Arinze Akupue, who spoke about the incident, said he had to call people around the market, to help put out the fire, after he was alerted by a security officer in the market.
Akupue said he went to the state fire service for assistance, but was referred to the Federal Fire Service.
He said 80% of the market had already burnt down before the Federal Fire Service arrived the scene.
The market chairman also noted that the firemen were attacked by hoodlums, to pave way for them to loot the remaining goods in the market.
He said it took intervention of the Azikiwe Divisional Police Headquarters to rescue the personnel of fire service.
“The market burnt down and nothing was removed from the market. The cause of the fire has nothing to do with somebody cooking. The market was already shut down, all the traders had gone home.
“The security man just called me that he’s seeing flames of fire in the market. And I asked him which of the area, he told me. Immediately I started calling persons around.
“This thing happened in a few minutes. He called me back that the market is going down. I called the Rivers state fire device, there was no response.
“I drove down from my house to the park, where we have the Rivers state fire service. They told me they cannot do anything. In fact they were the people that directed me to Federal Fire Service, I was so disappointed that they could not respond.
“And I drove immediately from there to Federal Secretariat where they gave me attention. I must commend them for that. I begged them that the market was going down. By then, the market was already 65% down.
“Immediately, they called their boss, the man was kind enough to approve and told them to follow us.
“As I was going back, I called the DPO of Illuabuchi Divisional Police Station and he responded also, because the fire servicemen needed security.
“Already we had a lot of hoodlums looting. They started throwing bottles on the vehicle of the fire service, trying to mob them.
“The mob action was much. Immediately the fire device drove to the Illuabuchi Division Police Headquarters for their safety.
“Over 200 and something shops were burnt down. We need assistance from the government,” he said.