Many traders at the popular Balogun market in Lagos State, wept, yesterday morning as fire burnt their goods.
The fire was said to have occurred at 5a.m., before it was put out by combined efforts of the federal and state fire services.
Many of the traders lamented that they had stocked millions of naira worth of goods for end-of-year sales before the fire incident occurred.
Many traders selling clothes and bags were the most hit.
One of the affected traders, identified simply as Iya Akande, broke down in tears while narrating the incident.
She lamented that some of them took loans to purchase goods ahead of Christmas and the New Year.
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“I just came to the market to open my shop and saw many traders crying. I looked up and saw that our goods have been gutted by fire. We are in trouble. Many of us took loans to get goods so that we can make much profit during this festive period.”
Asked to estimate the amount of goods burnt, she said it runs in “billions.”
Another eye witness, said the shops were among the 56 shops of a three-storey building in Gbode Plaza where leather material are sold.
Ikechukwu Odum said the inferno started from the ground floor and affected the shops.
He said: “My brother, Nnamdi called and told me about the incident but on getting there, it has been contained.”
The incident was confirmed by acting Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency NEMA, Lagos State Territorial District, Ibrahim Farinloye, who said it was completely put out at 7a.m., saying: “No life was lost to the incident and nobody sustained injuries.”
At press time, the cause of the inferno could not be ascertained.
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