Hundreds of people turned out to complement the efforts of the Fire and Rescue Services personnel to douse the fire which has caused as yet unquantified losses to the stores lining the waterfront area of the central market.
Among the goods perished were garments, textiles, jewellery, food stuffs and other general merchandise.
Eyewitnesses at the scene said the fire which started in one store quickly spread to the others. Although the cause of the blaze is yet to be established, many said they are not discounting the electricity power line as a source.
No lives were lost but a particular fire officer was almost overcome by the billowing smoke and had to be pulled out and rushed to the hospital.
The chairman of the Albert Market Executive Committee, Alhaji Salifu Jaiteh, said: “This fire has caused huge damage. My advice to store keepers is that they should insure their stores in case of such incident because this is a great loss for anyone. It might have been caused by a gas leakage but many are of the belief that it was caused by an electric power line.”
A sorry-looking Momodou Korka Sowe, store owner and a garment seller said: “What I lost today is huge. I have lost a lot of valuables today. I sell shoes, tee-shirts, ladies clothes and others. With this fire, everything is gone now,” he said.
Amadou Jallow, a store owner said: “The fire started at just one store and spread to the others. I think there is a cardboard between the stores where the fire started and the one next to it. That is why it spread so quickly. I cannot say how much damage I have incurred but I know I have a big issue to face.”
Fire service operational officer, Sang Ndow said: “I cannot make any assessments on how the fire broke-out as we are still working on that. My men who arrived first are still at the scene trying to extinguish the fire. I cannot tell you this or that is the cause of the fire. We are yet to establish that.”]]>