By Christopher Oji 

There was pandemonium as  part of Balogun Market, Lagos  was razed by fire.

The fire started about 12: am, but was put out around 3: am by the  combined team of Policemen, fire service from the Federal and State governments, and other emergency responders.

However, when the fire fighters  thought that the fire had  finally been put out, the fire sprang up  surprises as it started again at about 4. am .

Those who were at the scene took to their heels causing  stampede, and many people were injured during the pandemonium.

During the stampede,apart from being injured, many people who were injured,also lost their belongings in the process of scampering for safety.

Mr. Chika Ibeziem, a shoe dealer,said that he arrived the market at about 3 am, when he received a phone call from his colleagues, that there was fire outbreak in the Market,” I came in company with some of my apprentices, because it was too early. When we arrived the market, I saw a  mammoth of crowd. Some people were there around 2 am. We were happy that the fire fighters had put out the fire, but while we were trying to salvage our property, the fire started again in full force. I watched helplessly as the raging inferno consumed my shop which is on the fifth floor. I am losing millions from the fire outbreak. I just stocked my shop with over N5 million wares. The same fate that befell me ,did same to other businessmen. The State Government, should investigate the source of the fire out break”

According to  South-West Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Ibrahim  Farinloye,there was 

 fire outbreak  at a five story building, on  5 Gbajumo Street, Balogun  Market, Lagos Island .

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The building was harbouring shops that deal on clothes ,and shoe.

“The fire started at about 12.45 am, but  the concerted efforts of fire men from the Federal ,and State Fire Services, put out the fire at about 3 am .

“However, while dampening was ongoing, the fire started again at about 6:am; presently, the fire has been brought under total control.

“The fire has been contained without spreading to other building. No  injury or death has been noticed.

According Farinloye, there was intention to pull down the 5 story building, because of  cracks on the walls, but after careful assessment, the government changed  its’ mind. 

He said that,” The 5 Storey building was supposed to  be pulled down, but  as the  process were  under way to demolish the structure, the government after careful assessment, decided not to pull it down. For the mean time, UBA , Lagos Rapid Unit ( LRU), Nigerian Army, and other emergency responders and   fire fighting trucks, have joined  the fire service for rescue operations.

As at the time of filling this report, many traders were weeping and standing helplessly; counting their losses as the emergency responders were still assessing the damages on the building.

The Lagos State Police Security outfit, Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Military, and other paramilitary agencies were on ground, controlling human traffic, and making sure that there was no break down of law and order.

Daily Sun observed that only the fifth floor of the building  was badly affected by the inferno.