Balogun market traders lose millions of naira to fire incident

Some traders of the popular Balogun market on Lagos Island, on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 lost goods worth millions of naira to the fire incident that consumed a five-storey building that serves as a shopping plaza to the occupiers.

An eyewitness, recount “We just saw the plaza burning and we do not know what actually caused the fire.  Area boys tried to put out the fire but couldn’t because of the intensity. We then called the Fire Service’’, he said.

He said the items destroyed included textile materials, shoes and plastics.

It was gathered that the fire spread to other shops because of the type of items in the building.

A shop owner who was affected by the fire, wept, saying that the shop was her only means of livelihood.

“Where do I start from, who will come to me aid? I am the bread winner; is this not enough to make someone jump into the lagoon’’, she asked.

Another shop owner said she sells female clothing and shoes. “I stocked my shop recently for the Christmas sales, now that all I have is gone, what do I do?. I am calling on government to come to our aid because this market is where our survival comes from. A lot of us are single mothers and the responsibility of taking care of our children is on us”.

Top News gathered that this is the third fire incident at the market in three years. Previous incidents occurred in 2015 and November, 2017.

Although fire-fighters came with two trucks from the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) to put out the fire, which had ravaged the building, while traders tried to salvage their goods.

One of the guards at the market said the fire services did not arrive on time.  He said they came about an hour after the first call was made to alert them about the blaze.

“When they came, their water was not enough. I had to tell them to send more water tankers here because the fire was much more than we expected.

“Two fire trucks are here from LASEMA, the fire fighters had to go to get more water, I wonder why the water channels created by the Lagos State government don’t work,” he said.

The Director-General of the LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyitolu, said the major challenge faced by emergency responders is getting access to the scene of the incident.
In his words, he said “we have been able to localize and contain the incident,” he said, adding that some of the show owners hid inflammable and hazardous items like generating sets and petrol in their shops”.

The cause of the inferno is yet to be ascertained as at the time of filing this report, just as the values of goods and properties destroyed by the fire cannot be determined yet.

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