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16 Jan 2018

Tragedy As Fire Guts Markets, Destroys 34 Shops in Lagos

Huge losses befell traders at Better Life Market in Makoko, Yaba, and Mammy Market, on the premises of Armed Forces Resettlement Barracks, Oshodi, Lagos, as fire gutted the facilities on Monday.

 PUNCH Metro learnt that no fewer than 34 shops were ravaged by fire in the two markets.

Our correspondent gathered that fire broke out from a shop in the Mammy Market around 1.30am and spread to the other shops.

The inferno was said to have been curtailed by men of the Lagos State Fire Service from the Isolo Fire Station.

It was gathered that groceries and provision stores were affected in the incident.

As the fire was put out around 3am, a distress call was said to have been received from residents around the Better Life Market in Makoko.

A resident, Tunde Adejare, said he observed the havoc wreacked on the market  by the fire while returning from work around 6am.

“Over 20 shops were destroyed.  Foodstuffs, clothes, shoes, among other items, were sold in those shops. Traders rushed into the market to know their fate. Many of them lamented; they could not salvage anything from the rubble. No one could tell where the fire started from,” he added.

The spokesperson for the Lagos State Fire Service, Shakiru Amodu, confirmed the two incidents, adding that the agency would work with relevant authorities to ascertain the causes of the fire incidents.

He said, “The affected shops in Better Life Market are a chain of structures. About 20 shops were affected. We received a call around 3am and Ilupeju and Sari-Igamu fire stations were deployed. It was put out around 4am.

“The Mammy Market fire incident happened earlier. We were able to put it out before it caused a lot of damage. Fourteen chains of shops were destroyed. We are still working with the Nigerian Army in order to ascertain the true cause of the fire.”

Amodu urged traders to be safety conscious and ensure that electrical appliances were switched off before they closed for the day.

“In most cases, some traders pass the night in their shops and fire breaks out in the process. We are urging market leaders to talk to those who use shops for accommodation,” he added.

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