By Belove Olocha
Commotion ensued in the Oyingbo area of Lagos state on Friday as fire engulfed the Ebute-Metta Plank Market, leaving many devastated and homeless.
The fire was said to have started at about 11am in the morning and ended up lasting several hours.
It was learnt that the fire was said to have started from an electrical malfunction but no casualty was recorded.
Eyewitnesses who spoke to Newsbreak stated that residents pulled electric polls down in other to curtail the spread of the fire.
The fire, however, continued to spread, thereby leading to the loss of properties of business owners and those who lived within the vicinity.
“We thought it was something small when we heard the alarm, only for it to spread so fast to the extend I lost my three shops,” Segun Olawole, a resident, told Newsbreak.
A shop owner, Samson Adebayo, explained that the Lagos State Fire Service promptly responded to their emergency call, but were, however, unable to operate with two fire trucks brought to the scene due to the nature of the market.
“When we called the fire service, they didn’t take up to 30 minutes to get here. The problem was, the truck couldn’t enter the main premises where the fire started because of how tight the area is,” Adebayo said.
Our correspondent gathered that two more fire trucks were deployed to the scene as the fire spread even faster.
Blessing Igwe, a resident, said she was fortunate enough not to lose any property as she and her family were able to evacuate all their possessions to safety.
She said: “I live with my family and it was a good thing we were all around to pack our belongings out before the fire got to our house. I can’t believe yesterday was the last day I get to sleep in my house,” she said.
It was, however, not the same fate for the majority of the shop owners and residents of the area as they were left devastated following their inability to evacuate their belongings.
One of such persons was a woman, identified simply as Bola, who our correspondent observed wailed in agony as she lost all her belongings.
At the time of filing this report, the Nigerian Red Cross, which was on the ground, told Newsbreak that there were no casualties.