Traders at a certain shopping complex in the Ikorodu area of Lagos are already counting their losses after fire razed their shops and items worth millions of Naira destroyed.
According to Punch Metro the fire reportedly started around 2am on Wednesday and it affected four shops in the complex.
The fire was allegedly caused by an electrical spark inside one of the shops on Beach Road, opposite Ikorodu General Hospital, Lagos.
An eyewitness, Olamide Ojuope, said the fire occurred after he and his friends returned from an outing.
“We were sleeping when some security guards started banging at the door. When we rushed out, I saw the fire burning inside the shops, but no one could break into the shops. We called the state fire service, which put out the fire.”
One of the owners of the burnt shops, Biodun Odukoya, said he received a call about the fire from a doctor at the general hospital, adding that his goods were destroyed.
The Ogun State indigene said:
“I am a vulcaniser. The fire burnt my three machines and all the tyres I sell. The property I lost is worth about N5.3m.”
It was gathered that another shop owner, Busayo Ayoola, upon seeing that her shop had got burnt, fainted and was rushed to the general hospital.
Ayoola later told our correspondent that her savings were in the shop.
“My blood pressure rose and I was rushed to the hospital. But I have been discharged. I was at the shop on Tuesday and I closed around 8pm. My computers, photocopier, freezers, printer and all the goods I just bought were burnt.
“My valuables that got burnt were worth about N3m. My husband and I separated 11 years ago. This shop is what I use to take care of my children. Everything is gone; I beg the government to come to my aid.”
Another victim, Idowu Yusuf, a food vendor, said she obtained a loan from a microfinance bank to establish her business, adding that the fire had damaged her trade.
“If you go there, you will see the extent of the damage. I lost goods worth N500, 000.
“I have called the officials of the microfinance bank to come and observe what happened and they were here. I want the government to help me.”
The Public Affairs Officer, Lagos State Fire Service, Bola Ajao, said the fire service responded immediately it got a distress call on the incident.
“We received the call around 3.56am. The Ikorodu station responded immediately. They later called for reinforcement around 4.10am, and our Alausa station joined them.
“The aggravation of the fire could be because the residents delayed in calling the fire service. We later put out the fire.”