Activities in Balogun market disrupted
Hundreds of tenants and traders wept on Monday as fire engulfed the Great Nigeria House, Martins Street, Lagos Island, which served as their offices and warehouses.
The fire brought commercial activities in popular Balogun market to a standstill.
Many of the traders were seen scrambling to salvage their goods from the burning building.
The 22-storey Great Nigeria House, acclaimed as the fifth tallest building in Nigeria, also accommodates Mainstreet Bank.
According to a witness, the fire started at about 5.00 a.m. and was first noticed on the first floor. He said that as at 10:30 a.m., the fire had taken over the first four floors.
The witness said that the Federal Fire Service was quick to respond to the distress call of traders, and more than five fire engines were on ground to battle the blaze.
However, lack of adequate access to the building hampered the activities of the firemen as the building is surrounded by shopping plazas.
A staff of Mainstream Bank, who pleaded anonymity, said that there was nobody in the building because the fire started before resumption of work.
An official of the fire service, who spoke in a rush while battling the fire, said the its cause could not be ascertained yet, but that traders had been told to vacate the neighbouring buildings.
The fire was finally contained by 11:00 a.m. and prevented from spreading to other floors and shopping plazas around the skyscraper.