The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Department (FEMD) cited restricted access as the primary challenge in extinguishing the fire at the old Karu market in Abuja on Thursday.

In a statement released on Friday, Mrs. Florence Wenegieme, the acting Director-General of the department, emphasized the importance of ensuring accessibility for fire service personnel and trucks to market areas, as well as public and private buildings, to facilitate quick interventions during emergencies.

According to Wenegieme, the fire, which ignited around 6:30 p.m., was eventually contained through the combined efforts of FEMD, FCT Fire Service, Federal Fire Service, and Julius Berger Fire Service. Their prompt actions prevented the blaze from spreading to nearby residences.

Wenegieme clarified that it was not the newly constructed Karu Market that caught fire, but rather an informal market and settlement located behind it.

“There are two Fire Stations in Karu: the Karu Fire Station and another with a firefighting truck at the new Karu Market under construction,” she noted. “Despite the timely arrival of firefighting trucks, access to the market was obstructed, delaying our efforts to extinguish the fire. We had to break through walls to pass the firefighting hoses.”

Despite the destruction of goods valued at millions of naira, no casualties were reported. Personnel from the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Army, and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps assisted with crowd control during the incident.

Wenegieme also expressed gratitude to the Department of Engineering, Federal Capital Development Authority, for mobilizing the Julius Berger Fire Service to support the firefighting efforts. An investigation is currently underway to determine the cause of the fire.



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