The inferno which caused pandemonium in the area was said to have started around 9: 00 am and razed down the entire building and goods.
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.
Daily Independent gathered that some staff of the Supermarket were in the building as early as 8: 00 am in preparation to open for business for customers who will come for shopping
after the church service.
It was gathered that while the staff were making the preparation on the ground floor for the operation suddenly noticed that there was fire on the first floor of the building.
The situation compelled them to make a distress call to the firefighters who were blamed for arriving the scene late.
The staff in an effort to salvage the goods before the arrival of firefighters were to have attempted to use some of the fire extinguishers stationed inside the building but were shocked to discover that they were empty.
Some of the eyewitnesses said the fire started at about 9:00 am and all efforts made by the staff and sympathisers to prevent the fire from spreading were unsuccessful due to the intensity of the fire.
It was also gathered that an attempt to activate the in-house standby fire truck belonging to the Supermarket to put out the raging fire failed as the staff could not find the key to the truck.
However, four persons were arrested by the police in the process of looting some items at the scene.
The Director General of FCT Emergency Management Agency, ( FEMA ) Abas Idris who spoke to journalists said they have not been able to ascertain the cause of the fire but an investigation has been activated.
He also debunked the insinuation
that there was massive looting at the building when the fire broke out. He said those moving out the trolley were the staff of Next Cash & Carry but not the looters.
According to him” 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 am 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.
The emergency team sighted at the scene
includes FCT Firefighters, FEMA, Nigeria Police, Federal Road Safety ( FRSC ) Commission, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps ( NSCDC ), Julius Berger Fire Service Department of State Service ( DSS ) and others.
As of the time of filing this report no fewer than 15 fire trucks have been deployed to the scene to put out the raging inferno.
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