A mysterious fire has affected shops and properties worth millions of naira in the popular Balogun market on Lagos Island for the second time in three months.
The inferno which started on Wednesday morning and affected lock-up shops, was first noticed at the back of a building housing a commercial bank a correspondent of the Punch learnt.
Quick response from the Lagos State Fire Service prevented further spread of the inferno. A fire truck and a tanker were on ground at the time of the fire. Goods destroyed in the fire include lace materials, cosmetics, ladies wears, body cream, hair attachments, underwear accessories and refrigerators.
Some of the traders, who spoke with newsmen, commended the firemen for their timely response, which prevented the fire from spreading. Mr Cletus Onyema, a trader in the market said that he lost a huge amount of money as well as goods. He, however, thanked God for curtailing the losses. When I got a call that there was fire in the shops around this area, I did not know what to expect.
I thank God that the situation was not that bad. I lost some goods but I praise the fire service for work well done, he said.
Another trader, Mrs Ronke Adebayo, told newsmen that she had just stocked her shop for the Easter sales. I thank God that I was able to save some of my goods. I have a truck load of lace materials parked out there but I was able to save the goods.
I lost some goods but it would have been painful if all of them were consumed by the fire, she said. Adebayo said that the cause of the fire was still unknown but said that the fire service came on time and put out the fire. Confirming the incident the Director of Lagos State Fire Service, Mr Fadipe Rasaq, said that firemen from Onikan Fire Station responded to the fire call within four minutes.
He said that the fire razed a storey building, which caused the top floor to collapse while eight lock up shops were also destroyed. He said the cause of the fire was still being investigated. Fadipe advised traders to organise themselves to buy centralised generators that would be stationed outside the shops instead of using many small generators.
The initial inferno that razed through the popular Balogun market occurred on January 12 and started early in the morning also at about 4.36am from an unknown source.