Traders at the Limbe new market are counting losses after an inferno gutted seven shops, destroying property worth millions.
Locals who turned out to put off the fire were overpowered by the inferno as most of the shops are built together. Sources say inhabitants of Church Street Limbe, where the market is located had struggled to put off the fire using local means due to the absence of fire fighters. Fire fighters from the limbe city council and SONARA reportedly did not show up despite incessant calls.
The fire according to eyewitness account started around 4am Thursday, March 30. They recount how chunks of smoke floated the air accompanied by sudden light that pierced the darkness sending an unusual signal that all was not well. It is reported that roofs of some of the shops got burst as the fire struggled to find its way out of the shops. Several goods especially palm oil and clothes are said to have been consumed in the flames.
The limbe incident comes weeks after fire had destroyed shops in Bamenda Food market and Fundong market, all in the Northwest region. Though the main cause of these fire incidents, frequently occurring in Cameroon’s two English speaking regions, has not been established, many suspect organisers of ghost town days in the regions. Observers hold the fire incidents are apparently in protest of calls for schools to fully resume and government’s internet shut down. Activities in the two regions have been grounded for close to five months due to the ongoing anglophone crisis.