Friday, 4 September 2015

Fire guts plaza in Balogun Market Lagos Island

Balogun Market fire

  Pandemonium on Thursday broke out at the popular Balogun Market in Lagos Island, Lagos State, after a fire outbreak occurred and razed several shops in a six-storey building.
This was barely four months after another fire incident destroyed another section of the market, destroying property worth millions of naira.

 According to reports, the fire incident had begun in one of the shops following an alleged electrical default in the circuit.

The fire which blazed for hours gutted several shops and also destroyed household property worth millions of naira.

The plaza is surrounded by several important businesses which include Union Bank, Diamond Bank and the United Bank for Africa.
The plaza, used as a wholesale and retail outlet for shoes and bags, is directly beside and attached to Union Bank building.

The fire started at about 9:00 am and was battled by a team of combined fire fighters from the Union Bank and UBA before the arrival of the Lagos State Fire Service.
Some witnesses said some people jumped out from various floors of the burning plaza to escape the fire. However, they were found dead.

 Some of the traders blamed the spread of the fire to the inability of the fire service to respond speedily to the emergency.

However, the fire service said they should be absolved of blames, as they received the distress call very late.

Confirming the incident, the Lagos State Fire Service Director, said they deployed two fire trucks to battle the inferno.

According to him, “Two fire trucks battled an outbreak of fire involving a six-storey building at no 33 Balogun Street, Lagos Island.
“We prevented the fire from spreading to the building. We battled it seriously and prevented it from spreading beyond the second floor.
“However, shops that had shoes, fabrics, bags in large quantities were destroyed.”

A staff of the Lagos State Ambulance Mobile Intensive Care Service stationed at the scene, Florence Adewunmi, said some victims were stabilized and transferred to hospital.

“There are several casualties. We got a distress call at about 10am that there was fire outbreak at Balogun behind UBA.

“We proceeded here and learnt that they have rushed some people to General Hospital, Lagos but we met some casualties on ground.

” The patients jumped from the second, third and fourth floor and had fractures and various degrees of injuries.

” There were those that inhaled too much smoke so we gave some oxygen, some Dyclofenac injection, we treated ankle dislocations, we sutured deep cuts before carrying them to General Hospital, Lagos.

“So far, we have carried six people to hospital and discharged four after treatment,’ Mr. Adewunmi said.
One of shop owners who deals on female shoes, Nonso Christian, said he came to the plaza at 10 a.m and met it on fire.
“I met the plaza on fire and I tried to go in to bring out my goods but I couldn’t because the fire was too much.

“My shop is on the second floor and I just re-stocked on Monday, I don’t know what to do because the second floor is still on fire,” he said.

Several other shop owners, who were wailing while watching the fire declined comment. One of them simply said, ”we are sad, this hard economy, where do I start from?’’
A security man attached to Union Bank, Umoru Monday, said the fire started a few minutes before the hour of 9:00 am.

“The Union Bank Fire Service came around and started pushing the fire back so that it would not enter the bank, and later the fire fighters from UBA came to assist them before the Lagos State Fire Service came,” Mr. Monday said.
An official of the Lagos State Fire Service carrying a cylinder on his back into the burning plaza declined comment.


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