No fewer than 300 shops have been destroyed following a fire accident that occurred in the Ladipo plank market, Orile-Iganmu area of Lagos State.
Mr. Amodu Shakiru who is the spokesperson for the Lagos State Fire Service confirmed this in an interview with newsmen Thursday.
Reporters who visited the scene of the fire accident gathered that the shops which were arranged in lines of 75 shops each, had five lines with four of the lines destroyed by the fire.
The magnitude of the damage inflicted by the fire, which broke out at midnight on Wednesday and was put out by men from the Lagos Fire Service and officials from the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, was being bemoaned by a number of the business owners.
Shakiru claims that because there was no power supply to the market for hours prior to and hours following the occurrence, the fire was not started by an electrical surge as has been suggested.
He said, ‘There are five lines of shops in the market, four of the lines were destroyed by the fire. Each of the lines contained an average of 75 shops which sum the total shops affected to 300. There are other attachment shops which numbers cannot be ascertained.
‘Although we are yet to ascertain the cause of the fire, it can’t be blamed on an electricity surge because there was no power supply to the market hours before the fire broke out and hours after it. Just like most fire incidents, I think it will be a case of negligence on the part of the shop owners but we are conducting our investigation to unravel the cause of the fire.’
Shakiru disclosed further that efforts were still in top gear to ensure an escalation of the fire due to the inflammatory nature of goods being sold in the market.
‘We are still doing everything necessary to curtail further escalation of the fire because the items that are affected are combustible. You know that plank is a flammable material. We have begun evacuation of the debris while ensuring that the fire did not surge again,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the traders while lamenting the loss that the fire had caused them expressed fear that the Lagos State Government may take over the land after the incident.