The Next Cash and Carry, a popular supermarket in the Federal Capital City of Abuja, has been gutted by fire, while looters were seen carting away goods as the fire raged.
Associated with a former Governor of Anambra State, the Fire Service was absent for a long while before arriving later to battle the inferno.
The supermarket is located on Ahmadu Bello way, Kado-kuchi area of Jahi- Kado expressway.
The Federal Fire Service has advised residents to avoid the areas as firefighters are battling to put out the fire
and prevent its spread.
“The Service has turned out firefighters to the scene, who are fighting the fire,” Mrs Ugo Huan, Public Relations Officer, FFS, said.
Huan told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that because of the festive season, it was expected that residents might visit the store, hence the warning to avoid the area.
“Members of the public are to take note and avoid that route,” she said.
Huan said firefighters from over three different zones, including the FCT fire
service, were at the scene fighting the fire.
The PRO said the cause of fire had yet to be known as further investigation would be done to ascertain the likely cause of fire.
A witness at the scene, Mrs Sandra Emeka, said she was at the gate of the supermarket trying to gain entrance to the compound when she noticed dark smoke coming out of the store.
“I don’t know where the fire started from or what caused it but I just noticed the smoke and heard people around telling us to move back that there was fire,” she said.
Another customer, Mr Philip Paul, expressed sadness at the incident as he described the supermarket as a “big shopping center.”
“It is so unfortunate this happened at this time when the store must have been stocked up for the festive season.
“This is a great loss and I sympathise with the management of this supermarket,” he said.
▪︎ Additional reports by NAN