The staff of Anambra fire Service gave up the ghost while trying to stop fire at Ochanja market in Onitsha.

The name of the deceased could not be ascertained as the Acting Director could not disclose it.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Ali Okechukwu, said that the cause of the fire could not be ascertained.

Mbonu explained that a storey building in the market collapsed on two of his staff in an attempt to stop the fire, adding that one died instantly while the other was receiving treatment at a hospital.

“Eive other persons sustained various degrees of injury while 15 shops, mostly shoe shops, were razed during the inferno,” he said.

“The governor was there. When government comes out with its report on the cause of the fire, we shall all know but the place is calm now,” Okechukwu said.

Reacting, a member of the market’s vigilance group said that the fire started at about 3 a.m. from a shop line and extended to other areas.

“The fireman met his untimely death when he climbed a storey building to spray water but unfortunately for him, the building collapsed and he was consumed by fire.

“Another official of the fire service broke his leg and was among the five that sustained various degrees of injury,” the source said.

Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra, who rushed to the fire scene early in the day, said he would set up an investigative panel to find the immediate and remote causes of the fire outbreak.

An eyewitness further disclosed that a cash of N1.5 million was recovered in one of the shops and was handed over to the owner of the shop.

Obiano said that he would provide a fire-fighting vehicle and other equipment and urged the traders to be calm.

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