Fire guts shopping mall, bank in Lagos
Textile materials and fashion accessories estimated at millions of naira have been consumed after fire gutted a shopping plaza on Broad Street on the Lagos Island area of Lagos State.
Also, a section of the Skye Bank branch in Ikeja was gutted by fire, destroying some property.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the Lagos Island fire started around 8.55am after a power surge.
Workers at the plaza were said to have made frantic efforts to put out the fire before inviting officials of the Lagos State Fire Service and men of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency.
While some traders watched helplessly as their goods burnt, others were said to have struggled to salvage their wares.
A firefighter with the state fire service, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the fire started from the second floor of the three-storey building, adding that more than three fire trucks were deployed in the scene.
He said, “It is a three-storey shopping plaza where they sell female fashion items like bags, shoes and other accessories. The fire started from the second floor and was caused by an electrical surge. We were able to curtail the spread quickly.
“Firemen from the Onikan, Sari Iganmu and Alausa stations responded with 10,000 litres of water each.”
The General Manager of LASEMA, Michael Akindele, said there was no casualty in the incident, adding that some traders were able to save their wares.
“No life was lost and there were no injuries. Traders in areas not affected moved out their goods; everything is under control,” he added.
In the Ikeja incident, PUNCH Metro gathered that the server room of Skye Bank caught fire around 10.50am.
The prompt response of firemen from the Ikeja fire station was said to have prevented the fire from escalating.
Our correspondent was told by a firefighter that the fire was also caused by a power surge.
“They called the fire service on time and that was what saved the day. The fire started from their internet server room. There was a spark, which started a fire.
“But we were able to stand with them till the problem was fixed and banking operation resumed without much delay,” he added.
The Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Fire Service, Amodu Shakiru, called for increased vigilance among residents.
He said, “Both fire were caused by electrical upsurge and that is why we always tell people to be cautious.
“You can use the back of your hand to feel the heat of your electrical gadget. When it is hot, you should know it is a potential hazard.”
Meanwhile, several people were injured and about five shops set ablaze on Monday after some hoodlums clashed at the Alaba International Market.
A source told PUNCH Metro that the clash was between some Yoruba and Igbo touts, who engaged in a supremacy battle over collection of fees.
A witness said the fight started around 9am, adding that business activities had been grounded as a result of the clash.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Joe Offor, who confirmed the incident, explained that the clash was between the market’s transporters and traders unions.
“The transport employers association and the traders association were involved in the incident. The Alaba traders complained that the activities of the transport association were affecting their businesses. They said some of their customers were being harassed and intimidated to pay exorbitant fees, and they were losing them to their competitors.
“This morning, the traders challenged the transport association which led to a scuffle between the groups.”
He added that policemen from the Ojo division and some military officers had restored sanity to the area.