Idumota fire: NEMA cautions traders on safety

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has advised traders at Dosumu Market, Idumota, Lagos, to reinforce the security architecture of the market to ensure safety of their lives and property.

Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, Lagos Territorial Coordinator, NEMA, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen at the scene of the fire incident on Wednesday in Lagos.

Farinloye said metal protectors used to secure the shops stood in the way of fire fighters in their attempt to put out the fire.

He noted that after the Mandilas fire incident, the agency and other critical stakeholders embarked on disaster risk reduction advocacy around major markets on the Lagos Island.

He said the agency had appealed to the traders to contribute money to install water hydrants around the market in case of fire emergency, but the traders refused to comply.

He confirmed that the fire engulfed four buildings, adding that two of the buildings had already collapsed due to the impact of the inferno.

NAN gathered that fire fighters found it difficult to access the buildings when they arrived the scene.

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The Director, Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, Mrs Margaret Adeseye, said the service got wind of the incident at about 7. 41 a.m., and she immediately mobilised fire fighters to the scene.

Adeseye said the presence of an overwhelming crowd at the scene of the incident became a challenge for fire fighters in accessing the buildings.

She noted that another challenge was that two of the buildings were already engulfed by fire, adding that high tension electrical cables around the buildings made access cumbersome.

Also speaking, the Iya Loja-General of Lagos Island, Chief (Mrs) Risikat Lasisi, appealed to the government to come to the aid of the traders.

Lasisi said goods worth hundreds of millions of naira were destroyed by the inferno.

According to her, some traders who could not bear the pain of the loss of their property fainted and were rushed to the hospital.

She added that some of the traders borrowed money from banks to finance their businesses.

One of the traders, Mr Uche Obi, said each shop was levied N5,000 each to purchase water hydrant for the market, but added that not many traders had paid, hence they were not installed.

On the issue of insurance, Obi said he wasn’t sure if traders at the market subscribed to any insurance policy.

NAN reports that the scene of the fire incident was quite emotional as traders who lost their property were seen crying uncontrollably.

Emergency responders at the scene of the incident included NEMA, Lagos State and Federal Fire Services, the Police, fire fighters from the Nigeria Ports Authority, and the Lagos Emergency Management Agency.

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