The Onitsha drug market, other wise known as Bridge Head Market, was razed by fire in the early hours of Saturday.
No life was lost but goods worth millions of naira were said to have been destroyed in the inferno.
SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that the fire started at about 6am from the Redemption Line of the market.
The intervention of the operatives of the Fire Service prevented the fire from spilling over to other parts of the market.
When our correspondent visited the market, traders were seen in groups, clearing their shops as they counted their losses.
A trader at the market, Chidubem Uzochukwu, told our correspondent that he lost N700,000 in cash and goods worth over N15m.
In an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, President of the Association of Medical and Pharmaceutical Products Dealers Onitsha Market, Mr. Uche Eze, said he received a call from the security unit at about 6.15am about the fire.
He said, “When I arrived at the market, the fire was still raging. Several shops were affected and millions of naira, both in cash and goods, were lost to this fire incident.
“The owners equipped their shops with goods for the Christmas sales, but you can see what has happened. The whole market would have been engulfed by the fire if not for our prompt response in calling the firefighters from both markets.
“We are appealing to the governor to provide fire service equipment in the markets; it is unfortunate that the entire Bridge Head Markets Association has no fire service facility to tackle this kind of problem.”