A wildfire yesterday gutted a section of the popular Balogun Market on Lagos Island.
An eyewitness disclosed to The Guardian that a section of the market was engulfed in flames. According to a source, the building on fire is a shopping plaza located at No. 43, Martins Street, Lagos Island.
Firemen from the Lagos State Fire Service have arrived at the scene alongside other security officers to put out the fire.
Traders in the busy market have lamented the inability of the firefighters to put out the raging inferno.
Despite the intervention of government and private firefighters, the traders, some of whom are victims of the inferno, lamented the snail-pace response of firefighters.
Occupants of nearby buildings also evacuated their wares as the inferno continued to spread.
All the shops in the burning section of the market were shut down. The fire was still raging several hours after it broke out.
One of the traders, who identified himself simply as Owosanmi, said, “it is over six hours and as you can see, the fire is still burning. The government keeps failing us every day, it is taking forever to put out this fire.”
Another trader in the market who wants to remain anonymous complained that the firefighters were confused when they saw the raging inferno.
“They have been struggling to put out this fire, but still yet to put it out. I am here witnessing our firefighters’ failure put out this fire”, he said.
One of the traders whose shop was affected, Titilayo Oreoluwa told newsmen that the fire started around 7.am and was still raging by 4.pm.
“I think this is the right time for the government to set up a fire station in the market. I lost some of my goods due to the fire incident and the fact that it is still burning is worrisome.
“The government should equip the firefighters for incidents like this”, she said.
Bayo Lawrence, another trader in the market, also called on the government to act fast to avoid a similar occurrence in the future.
The atmosphere of the market was tensed as a crowd of thugs and miscreants attacked traders and sent them scampering for safety with their equipment.
Miscreants took advantage of the confusion to rob passersby of their belongings.
Firefighters are still battling to put out the fire at the 5.pm. There were no casualties at the time of filing this story.