Properties worth millions of naira were lost in an early morning inferno which razed a section of Sabo Market, Ikorodu, as no fewer than 25 shops, two houses, a relaxation spot and two warehouses were razed yesterday.
According to Vanguard, the incident was attributed to a power surge which occurred at about 1:20am when the traders had retired from the day’s business.
This prompted response of the state emergency respondents who were said to have prevented the fire from escalating.
It was learnt that the victims blamed their woes on the non-nonchalant attitude of personnel of Ikeja Distribution Company who supplies electricity to the market.
According to the traders, the company failed to respond to a distress call until the situation almost got out of hand.
“Before going home on Tuesday, there was high voltage which affected electrical appliances such as bulbs, fans and sockets, a signal that havoc will soon be recorded but the distribution company turned deaf ears to this.
“The office of the electricity supplier is very close to the market and we called their emergency number asking them to switch off the panel leading to the market but there was no response until the fire escalated and almost spread to their office,” chorused the traders.
An eye witness, Austin Daniel, said he received a distress call at about 1.25am and quickly rushed to the scene.
“I was confused when I got a distress call thinking it was a small matter and I rushed to the scene with two buckets of water but it dawned on me that it was not a child’s play when I got to the scene.
“Anyway, credit goes to the fire services who were readily on ground before mine and many other shops were saved,” he said.
One of the affected victims simply identified as Sunday, who deals on provision, said he did not believe the inferno could spread to his shop.
“I thought I was coming to sympathise with others but I was shocked to discover that my shops were among the affected shops,” he lamented.