Goods worth billions destroyed as fire guts Amu Plank Market, Lagos
Residential property, shops and wares worth billions of naira were, yesterday, gutted by fire in an early morning inferno, which raged on for several hours, leaving large parts of the Amu Plank and Building Materials Market, Mushin, Lagos State, in rubbles.
This happened barely five days after an explosion from a Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipeline, led to the death of five persons, the burning of 71 shops, 30 houses, 39 vehicles, a church auditorium, and the displacement of over 150 residents.
As at the time of filing the report, the source of the fire was still unknown, but shop owners and residents of the area informed The Guardian that minutes after the fire started at about 12:20 a.m. on Saturday, it immediately spread with intensity to other parts of the market because of the presence of combustible materials, including chemicals, wooden materials, including doors and plywood, as well as asbestos sheets.
Several traders and their dependents wailed uncontrollably as their sources of income went up in flames. The Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Olufemi Oke-Osayintolu, properties worth billions of Naira, including two houses, have been consumed in the 2, 200 sqm market.
An embittered Abdulwasiu Salawudeen Owolabi, a trader in the market expressed disappointment after officials of the state fire service arrived the scene and did little to quench the fire before leaving. He told The Guardian: “Can you imagine that only 15 minutes after the state fire service arrived, they said there was no water in their tank again to put off the fire, and for like three to four hours, there was no fire service present. It was between 4:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. that about three fire services, including the Federal Fire Service came around, and it was very late already.
Another trader, Mr. Adeshina Shakurudeen, said: “I now know that in this country, we are on our own, which means that we don’t have a government that can effectively respond when citizens are need.”
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