28 hours after outbreak, first responders battle Lagos building fire

Balogun Market, Lagos

Firefighters and other first responders are still battling to completely quench the fire that gutted a building on Tuesday at 43, Martins street, Balogun Market Lagos.

The fire that started in the early hours of Tuesday was still burning at the time of this report as personnel of relevant agencies continued their efforts to pull down the building.

An official at the scene said the fire might have reached the base of the building.

A control demolition has been carried out on the building to prevent the fire from spreading to other buildings.

As at 4:30 p.m on Wednesday, firefighters were using an excavator to clear the debris of the demolished building.

Naso Okunbor, the spokesperson of Lagos emergency services agency, LASEMA, said combustible materials stored in the shops made efforts to quench the fire difficult.

Aside from the building at No 43, Martins Street, that was gutted yesterday, a building near it was ignited in the early hours of Wednesday.

Smoke was still bellowing from the other building when this reporter left the scene Wednesday evening.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos State who was at the scene earlier on Wednesday, sympathised with the traders on their losses.

Mr Sanwo-Olu said Lagos Island is dominated by buildings of over a century old. He said: “plans for the regeneration of Lagos Island are already perfected and implementation will commence next year.”

He added that integrity test would be conducted on the buildings close to the ones razed by the fire and the result of the test will determine the fate of the buildings.

The governor said the government would carry out an enumeration of traders, business, and property owners on the island. He encouraged traders to stop storing fossil fuels and inflammable materials.

Shops and businesses around the vicinity have remained shut to aid the work of the first responders.


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