Menu Close

Police arrest 4 suspected looters during fire outbreak at Abuja supermarket

*We got the distress call and immediately activated all the responders who have been there on time, especially the security agencies to condone off the place to avoid looting, says Abas Idris, Director-General of FCT Emergency Management Agency

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Amid the pandemonium, following the reportedly huge fire outbreak that destroyed the entire building and goods worth several millions of Naira at the Next Cash & Carry Supermarket, the Nigeria Police have arrested four individuals in the process of looting some valuables at the scene in Abuja, FCT.

ConsumerConnect reports that goods worth millions of Naira were destroyed by fire Sunday, December 26, 2021, at the Supermarket located at Jahi District of the Federal Capital Territory.

The fire, which caused pandemonium in the area, was said to have started around 9. 00 a.m. and razed down the entire building and goods, according to eye-witnesses.

However, the cause of the fire which occurred on Boxing Day could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report, but was said to have started on the first floor of the building.

Some staff of the Supermarket were in the building as early as 8: 00 a.m. in preparation to open for business for consumers who would come for shopping after their church service.

However, it was learnt as the staff were making the preparations on the ground floor for the day’s operations, they suddenly noticed that there was fire on the first floor of the building.

Subsequently, the situation compelled them to make a distress call to the firefighters who were blamed for arriving the scene late.

And in an effort at salvaging the products before the arrival of firefighters, the staff attempted to use some of the fire extinguishers stationed inside the building, but were shocked to discover that the cylinders were empty, report noted.

Some of the eyewitnesses, all efforts the staff Next Cash & Carry Supermarket and sympathisers made to prevent the fire from spreading were unsuccessful due to the intensity of the fire Sunday morning.

The situation reportedly got worse as another attempt to activate the in-house standby fire truck belonging to the Supermarket to put out the raging fire also failed as the staff could not find the key to the said truck.

However, amid the confusing atmosphere, the Nigeria Police arrested four persons while attamepting to loot some items at the scene.

Abas Idris, Director-General of FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), told reporters that the agency has not been able to ascertain the cause of the fire but an investigation has been activated.

Idris, nonetheless, debunked some insinuation that there was massive looting at the building when the fire broke out.

According to him, those moving out the trolleys were the staff of Next Cash & Carry but not the looters.

The FEMA Director-General said: “We got the distress call and immediately activated all the responders who have been here on time especially the security agencies to condone off the place to avoid looting and they were here including the Police, Civil Defence, DSS and all other agencies.

“I was here around 9:00 a.m. before the responders came, and it was well-coordinated and we did not allow anybody to come in.”

The FCT Commissioner of Police Babaji Sunday was also at the scene to assess the damage to the business facility.

The emergency response teams at the scene of he fire incident include FCT Firefighters, FEMA, Nigeria Police, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Julius Berger Fire Service, and Department of State Service (DSS) among others.

Kindly Share This Story

 

Kindly share this story