Property and goods believed to be worth several millions of naira were yesterday razed to ashes as fire gutted a shopping complex at Yaba in Lagos. About 94 shops in the complex opposite the Presbyterian church Yaba, were completely burnt.
For several hours, firefighters and other emergency responders had a hectic time putting out the fire, which engulfed the shops almost simultaneously. Some shop owners rushed to the scene to salvage their wares after they were alerted.
The presence of the policemen from Sabo and Adekunle police stations prevented miscreants, who were milling around, from looting goods in the burning shops. It was learnt that the fire started from one of the shops in the complex about 12:45a.m. where wears, shoes and bags among others were burnt.
The General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu, said that the agency received a distress call about 12:45a.m. regarding a fire at a storey building This, he said, prompted immediate activation of the Emergency Response Team (ERT), the Lagos State Fire Service and policemen from Sabo and Adekunle police stations.
He said: “The agency was involved in salvaging some items, shops barricaded with iron bars using concrete cutter for fire service to gain access to the affected areas and also prevented further escalation. “A total number of 117 shops were salvaged by the emergency responders, which include fire service from Ilupeju and Alausa fire stations. Tiamiyu noted that the fire outbreak was exacerbated by the highly inflammable materials such as wears stored in the shops, as well as air conditioners.
According to him, generators with fuel in the market caused occasional explosions as the fire razed the shops. The LASEMA boss also said that emergency responders had difficulty in accessing some of the shops because of iron bars used as security doors for the shops.
LASEMA and the state Fire Service earlier responded to a fire outbreak about 6:57a.m. at 83, Abeokuta Street, Ebute-Meta. “No life was lost but two male adults who sustained minor injuries while trying to put out the fire and immediately treated by LASEMA Medical Team,” Tiamiyu said.