Traders weep as fire ravages warehouses in Douala.

Scores of traders in Douala, in the Littoral Region, are lamenting over the loss of billions worth of goods, which have been reduced to ashes, following a raving fire incident which occurred in the evening hours of Sunday September 17.

Information gleaned from witnesses on ground, revealed that the fire emanated from one of the warehouses of what is referred to as Chinese Market, located at a place called 'Douche Municipal' in Akwa, Douala I Subdivision. 

The fire later extended to several other warehouses, including that of a popular company specialised in the sale of construction materials.

The Chinese Market is renowned for hosting warehouses that serve as storage facilities for goods imported from China. Traders from other Regions of the country buy and sell variety of products there on daily basis. The fire incident paralysed circulation for hours in the area. 

At about 7p.m. Sunday, firefighters from the Ngondi fire brigade were at the scene to curb the spread of the flames. But the fire proved tough to put out.

The Ngondi brigade firemen were joined by those from Bonaberi and the Douala International Airport. Up until midnight Sunday, fire could still be seen spreading from one shop to another. 

Shocked to see his shop going down in flames, a trader told reporters that the damage can be counted in billions of FCFA. 

“We have lost billions just in one day. It has not been long that I bought goods from China worth over 20 million FCFA. You can see that we are unable to recover anything. There is the shop in front and the warehouse behind; everything has been burnt," he cried out.

An eyewitness described the situation as a complicated one.

"It was a very complicated fire. Despite the intervention of firefighters, the flames spread to the Quiferou warehouse. We had to call in the firefighters from the airport," he said.

The Governor of the Littoral Region, Samuel Dieudonné Ivaha Diboua, and the Senior Divisional Officer, SDO, of Wouri, Benjamin Mboutou, who descended to the scene to take stock of the damages incurred, said, it was enormous. 

"We came to see how much the firefighters were trying to bring down the flames which have consumed this market…the damage is enormous and even more affected is the Quiferou warehouse…we can't really estimate for now but it's a huge loss,” Governor Diboua said. 

At the time of filing in this report, the prime cause of the fire was still sketchy. However, fingers are pointing at a short circuit due to persistent seizure of electricity around the said neighbourhood.

 

 

 

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