A witness of the Balogun market fire in Lagos which occurred on Tuesday has revealed that the fire was caused by incantations made by some persons.
The traders at the market counted their human and material losses as the fire broke out on 32, Balogun Street and 34, Gbajumo Street of the market yesterday.
It was gathered that the fire started at 9 a.m. and affected three buildings with more than 900 shops.
The incident was also reported to have claimed a life.
The cause of the disaster is worthy of note as some of the victims say the fire started mysteriously with no known cause.
Narrating his part as a witness, Oliver Ezedimbu, who claimed he lost over N40 billion worth of goods, said the fire was mysterious.
He stated that there was no source of electricity where the fire started which made the incident a mystery.
“One of my friends said they saw about three people this morning, they brought out an egg, made some incantations and mashed it on the building and the fire started.
“The place where the fire started from, there was no electricity or generator and we don’t know the cause of the fire.
“I don’t know where to start from again. I have two shops in the building. I have a shop on the 5th and 4th floors.
“But there are about 900 shops in this building alone. My goods are worth over N40 million and I couldn’t save anything,” he narrated.
Another victim simply identified as Ngozi lamented that she was unable to salvage any of her goods before the fire, calling on the government to intervene.
“I’m finished. I don’t even know where to start from.
“I didn’t remove anything from my shop. Please, the government should come to my rescue.
“My shop is on the third floor and we didn’t even know what was going on until some people alerted us. Now everything is gone,” she lamented.
Kingsley Ezedimbu also pleaded with the government to help them to clear Gbajumo Street.
“The problem is that when the fire service vehicle came around, they could not access the buildings on fire.
“The makeshift shops could not allow them to drive through. This has been happening in this Balogun.
“Any time there’s a case like this, that place is always the issue.
There will be no way to drive in because the fire started from the back, Gbajumo,” he said.
Reacting, the Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, said:
“The agency activated its response plan and upon arrival at the scene, observed a three-storey building engulfed in flames.
“Further investigation gathered at the scene revealed that the fire emanated from the third floor which is used as a store.
“However, with the quick intervention of the LRT, LASG Fire Service and Fed Fire Service, the fire has been curtailed from spreading to other adjoining buildings.”
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