Again, fire engulfs another major Lagos market
GOODS and property worth millions of Naira were destroyed by fire on Friday at the popular Berlin Market, near Mandilas on Williams Street, off Marina in central Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the incident occurred four days after five buildings were razed in the popular Balogun Market located also in central Lagos.
NAN could not immediately ascertain the cause of the fire but the people who spoke said it could not be unconnected with the people who slept there.
They also alluded to the fact that many of the people who reside in the market and the traders used electricity generators because of inconsistent power supply.
They noted that it could have resulted from a spark from power surge when Eko Electricity Distribution Company restored light in the early hours of the morning.
An Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Lagos State Fire Service, who identified himself only as Jubril, told NAN that the course of the fire could not be determined immediately.
Jubril, who said that he was hastening to quell another fire somewhere in Lagos, said they had curtailed the incidence with the assistance of other rescue agencies at the scene.
NAN reports that fire fighters from adjourning banks, including the United Bank for Africa (UBA), First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Julius Berger and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) were seen putting off the fire.
The Head of CBN’s Security Department, who identified herself as Mrs Yaya, said the bank brought its fire outfit to prevent it from spreading to the bank premises.
Yaya also told NAN that the cause of the fire could not be determined immediately, adding that some of the traders sleep in their shops and used generators at night.
She said that the fire began early on Friday morning and was a threat to the CBN premises and other banks within the locality, compelling them to join in putting out the fire.
She lamented the way the market was constructed, admonishing the state government to urgently do something to reconstruct it into a modern market.
Our trucks found it difficult to get to the scene of the fire due to the way the market is constructed.
Some of the traders sleep within the market and use electricity generators popularly known as `I better pass neighbor’,’’ she added.
A trader, Rapheal Oyeke, told NAN that he sells clothing materials and shoes, adding that he lost all his goods to the fire.
Another trader, Alozie, who apparently was shattered by the development, said he had just returned from the Christmas and New Year holidays on Thursday only to meet the ugly incident.
Also, another, who was irritated by questions from a NAN correspondent, gave his name as Ameachi, adding that he lost all the shoes, jewelries and clothes he sells.
Other traders, including women were seen wailing as a result of the incident.
NAN recalls that Gov. Babatunde Fashola, who paid an on the spot visit to the traders at the Balogun Market on Wednesday had promised that the state government would assist the victims. (NAN)