A section of Binukonu Ultra Modern Market, Ojota in Lagos has been gutted by fire in the early hours of today destroying goods and property worth millions of Naira. This was the third fire incident at the the market in three years. Previous incidents occurred in 2015 and November 2017.Naija News Gathers
Alhaja Rehanat Salami, the female Head of the market (Iya-Oloja) said that the fire was caused by an electrical fault.
She said: “I didn’t look at the time when I received a phone call that the market was burning when I hurriedly started coming here.
“When the fire occurred on the two previous occasions, we did everything the government instructed us to do.
“When the fire occurred the first time, the government helped us to reconstruct the affected stalls for free.
“I heard that this fire was caused by an electrical spark, I had warned everyone to always turn off their electricity connections when there is a power outage.
“We make sure we put off all the lights when we close for the day at the market.”
The secretary of the market, Mr Gbenga Fayemi revealed previous efforts the management of the market had made to prevent a reccurrence of a fire outbreak.
“This fire that occurred just now is the third time that it is occurring,the first was three years ago and the last one occurred last year.
“The traders had not fully recovered from the previous incidents when this one occurred despite all our efforts to prevent a reoccurrence.
“When the first incident occurred Hon. Rotimi Agunsoye of the House of Representatives, gave us some fire fighting equipment.
“When the second incident occurred, we tried using the equipment but it didn’t quench the fire.
“I also installed the equipment in all these shops that got burnt because I was told that the equipment will burst and stop the fire when a fire begins but I was surprised that it did not work today,” he said.
Fayemi said the fire services did not arrive at the scene till about 2.30am which was an hour after the first call was made to alert them about the blaze.
“When they came, their water was not enough I had to tell them to send more water tankers here because the fire was much more than we expected.
“Two fire trucks are here from LASEMA, the fire fighters had to go to Ogba to get more water, I wonder why the water channels created by Lagos State Government don’t work,” he said.
Naija News also gathered that Mr Kehinde Adebayo, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of LASEMA could not comment on the alleged one hour lateness of the fire services and insufficient water in the fire trucks.
“I cannot comment on that. Only the Managing Director (MD) can comment on that. What I can do is to issue an official press statement. All I can say before the statement is issued is that there was sufficient water for the fire trucks,” he said.