Over 100 shops house in six buildings at Balogun Market, Lagos Island were burnt in the early hours of yesterday, destroying goods worth millions of naira. The fire incident is coming just about a month after a similar incident occurred at the market
The fire was suspected to have been caused by power surge in one of the shops at about 4a.m, spreading to others before help could come.
Although no life was lost, about seven private guards were said to have sustained minor injuries, while people scampered for safety.
The fire was said to have been fuelled by some of the goods, such as clothes, electronics, rubber and shoes stored in the buildings, which also served as warehouses.
Fire fighters were still battling to contain the situation at 2pm, which made them call for support from private firms nearby. Julius Berger Construction Company and other banks in the area were said to have responded. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), the Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NCSDC), Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and the Nigeria Red Cross Society all assisted in fighting the raging fire.
Over 15 tankers were reported to have been brought to the scene.
“We have not finished offloading the goods from the containers. We left on Sunday with the hope of continuing this morning (yesterday). I arrived here at 5a.m., only to meet the whole place on fire,” said Mrs Gbadamosi, an attendant in one of the affected shops, who said that her employer had goods worth N27 billion in his containers.
“We tried all we could to salvage some of the goods in the containers, but there were only few hands. Even when we managed to take them somewhere else, the fire spread there and destroyed them,” she said.