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No fewer than 62 shops and some residential buildings were left destroyed after fire gutted the Ijesha market in the Oshodi area of Lagos state on Saturday.
The fire incident, which according to eyewitnesses started at about 5 pm and was put out at 8.50 pm, affected 62 traders and about 28 households.
According to the Southwest Zonal Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, ‘The fire was suspected to have started from a room, converted to shop while cooking and gas cylinder gutted fire.‘
He said though no life was lost or injury sustained, immense properties were lost.
Farinloye added: ‘The challenges faced by responders were lack of water supply nearby, five fire tankers from Federal, State, and LRU had to go some Kilometres away from the scene to source water.‘
The coordinator also said that activities of hoodlums temporarily disrupted response and efforts at preventing vandalization of the salvaged areas.
The timely involvement of the NEMA Grassroots Volunteers from Mushin helped to calm down the hoodlums and to curb the spread of the fire.
Agencies present during the emergency phase and post-emergency damage impact assessment include Federal, State, LRU fire Services, Police Disaster Management Unit (DMU), NEMA Grassroots Emergency Volunteers Corps (NEMA GEVC), Police, and NEMA
Following this unfortunate incident, NEMA has enjoined Nigerians to be safety conscious in handling fire in this season of the year.
Farinloye implored further: ‘Fire has been known to be a good messenger when handled with utmost care but the worst enemy when there is slack in mismanaging it.’
Some of the traders whose shops were affected just sat down helpless, while some lucky traders were seen rescuing their ware as the fire raged. While some who were able to recover some of their wares were looking for where to keep them safe to avoid hoodlums from looting them.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK