Losses incurred by traders in a fire incident at the Kousseri Central Market in Cameroon’s Far North Region are reported to have been estimated at FCFA 1 billion (over 1.8 million US Dollars).
On that fateful day, the market is said to have gone up in flames as traders prepared to retire home in the evening.
Only the joint efforts of the firefighting unit and locals could contain the wild flames.
This was after some 23 shops were gutted by the fire.
“We are finished! We lost everything. I was already at home when I was called to return to my shop,” one of the market’s traders cried out.
Another trader, all tears, revealed his shop contained someone else’s goods bound for Chadian capital, N’djamena.
“When the fire started to ravage shops in the heart of the Kousseri market,” testified another, “… the first people who were onsite were overwhelmed by the flames and immediately alerted the fire fighters…”.
The firefighting unit, he added, “… deployed several means but unfortunately was overwhelmed by the violent fire”.
Reports say the flames were finally quenched only with the aid of backup from Chadian capital, Ndjamena, which employed the use of two pump vans and other high-end equipment.
“I lost a shop and a store. We thank our brothers from Ndjamena who came to our aid otherwise the damage would have been more substantial,” remarked a shop owner after the disaster.
While many suspect the fire was caused by an electric fault, no official explanation has been rendered. It should be recalled that this is the sixth time the Kousseri Central Market is witnessing a fire incident.