A yet-to- be identified Marijuana smoker, Friday afternoon allegedly started a fire that razed about ten shops in the popular Swali Ultra Modern Market in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Although, no lives were lost, but several persons were said to have sustained varying degrees of injuries while attempting to save their goods from the heavy inferno.
DAILY POST learnt that the fire started at a refuse dump site close to the market where suspected Indian hemp smokers had turned to their den for illicit use and sale of hard drugs.
According to eyewitness account, one of the Marijuana smokers allegedly dropped the butt of his Marijuana that was still burning, and started the fire that slowly gained access to a shop where highly inflammable disposable plates were stored.
It took the intervention of the State Fire Service to bring the fire that lasted for about 30 minutes and consumed goods worth millions of Naira under control.
Speaking to newsmen, the Chairman General of the Swali Ultra Modern Market, Mr. Jackson Bobra, said that the gang of Indian hemp smokers had set the market ablaze several times in the past in the same manner.
He further explained that “this afternoon some parts of the market got burnt. As we have gathered the fire started from a refuse dump site across the fence of the market.
“The fire started when some gang of Marijuana smokers that have turned the dump site to their den dropped the left over of what they were smoking on the refuse and walked away.
“The fire started slowly and because that part of the fence of the market is too low, the fire gained access into a shop where plastic disposable plates were stored.
“And from there the fire razed about ten buildings to the ground and partially burning several others, leaving goods worth millions of Naira destroyed.
“Although no lives were lost but several persons sustained various degrees of injuries while they were attempting to take their goods to safety.
“If not for the quick intervention of the State Fire Service, more shops would have been burnt down. This is not the first time this is happening and we have reported the matter to the state government that collects revenue everyday but they have refused to do anything about it.”
One of the victims of the fire accident and a owner of a store, Mr. Kenechukwu Chibuzor, lamented the situation, stating that he has lost so much of his belonging to unreasonable group of persons.
He stated that this is January which is the beginning of the year after the festive period and so much spending how will one recover his lost.
“May God help us to recover this goods but i don’t know how it can be possible, the fire has finished all I have, and I wonder what I will do again to get my properties, the times we are is so hard, only God will help.”