No fewer than 94 shops were destroyed on Sunday after a shopping complex in the Yaba area of Lagos was gutted by fire.
This is just as two residents of Abeokuta Street, Ebute-Meta, sustained burns in the fire that broke out from the first floor of a two-storeyed building on the street.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the Yaba incident happened around 12.30am with goods worth millions of naira destroyed in the inferno.
It was gathered that the fire started from a shop at the back of the Yaba Shopping Complex, before it escalated.
However, officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency and firefighters from the state fire service were able to salvage about 117 shops in the complex.
An eyewitness, Saka Omoyeni, said inflammable materials in some of the shops fueled the fire.
He said, “Materials such as clothes, as well as air conditioners and generators with fuel, made the fire to rage and destroy a lot of shops. The loss was too much.”
In the Ebute-Meta incident, which occurred around 6am, our correspondent gathered that the two residents sustained burns while they were trying to put out the fire before the arrival of emergency officials.
The LASEMA’s General Manager, Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu, who confirmed the two incidents, said policemen from the Sabo and Adekunle police divisions were involved in preventing miscreants from cashing in on the situation to steal.
He said, “The agency received a distress call at about 12.45am regarding a fire incident in one-storeyed building shopping complex opposite Presbyterian Church Yaba.
“Investigation conducted by the agency’s Emergency Response Team at the scene revealed that the fire started from one of the shops at the back of the complex where wears, shoes, bags were burnt, leaving 94 shops out of 201 in the complex destroyed.
“A total number of 117 shops were salvaged by the emergency responders, including men from the Alausa and Ilupeju fire stations.
“In the Ebute-Meta incident, no life was lost, but two male adults sustained minor injuries while trying to put out the fire.”
Tiamiyu advised market leaders to ensure that their members were continuously sensitised to fire prevention and safety.
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