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Traders count losses as fire guts market in Oshodi

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Some traders at the Oja sawmill market in Mafoluku area of Oshodi, Lagos State, yesterday woke up to the sad news of a fire ravaging their shops and wares, destroying goods worth millions of naira.

The fire started at about 1:00a.m. yesterday and burnt all in its path for several hours until when residents were able to rally out to salvage the little they could from the ruins. It was gathered that the Lagos State Fire Service arrived the scene two hours after the fire started to prevent it from spreading to other neighborhoods.

Secretary of the traders association in the market, Mr. Muyideen Mojeed, said he did not know where the fire came from as he was only contacted on phone by other traders, who were at the scene.

He said: “We have lots of goods in this market worth millions of naira, because we sell building materials such as planks, bag of cements, rods, woods among others. We need Lagos State government to assist us financially, because everything has burnt to ashes. We have been doing our best to put out the fire when it started before the fire service came but it was beyond our capacity.

A resident, Mr. Innocent Ugwuoke, said he woke up at about 1:00a.m. when people started shouting because of the fire and he put calls across to the fire service officials close by at Toyota bus-stop, but it took them over two hours before they arrived at the scene. Immediately the fire started, we began to move our vehicles and other property out of our compounds to avoid it been affected.

One of the fire service officials from Isolo Fire Service Station, who pleaded anonymity, said the first person that called said it was transformer that was on fire so he started making arrangements to call electricity officials to switch off the light in the area but when he got to the scene he discovered it was the sawmill market.

“I will advise traders to always switch off all electrical appliances when closing from the market to prevent fire outbreak. We had challenges when we were coming we wanted to enter the market through NAHCO but the road was blocked, we had to turn back to Afariogun Street through Charity Bus Stop before coming here”.

He said the major challenge they have in discharging their duties is the miscreants popularly known as area boys. “Even when policemen are on ground, these miscreants still loot people’s property.”


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