Breaking: Iponri market on fire

Fire on Monday swept through Iponri Shopping Centre, Iponri, Lagos Mainland, leaving no fewer than 34 shops burnt.

But the Lagos State Fire Service said 16 were gutted.

The Nation learnt that the fire started around 6pm.

The cause of the fire was unknown, but some said it was caused by power surge.

An eyewitness said no fewer than 34 shops were razed.

Many traders, who were about closing for the day, were surprised by the sudden inferno.

Those who were on their way home were called back.

Shop owners and buyers left trading and scampered for safety.

Fire fighters from Sari Iganmu stormed the place to put out the fire.

They were joined by men from Ilupeju Fire Station.

Traders were reported looking for remnants of their burnt items after the fire was put out around 10pm.

Lagos State Fire Service Chief Public Affairs Bola Ajao told The Nation that the Sari Iganmu fire station received a distress call around 7:47pm and got to the scene by 7.54.

She said 16 shops were rated out of the roll of over 30 shops.

The inferno, she said, was restricted to the 16 shops.

“The fire has been put under control,  while Lagos Fire fighters still on ground exercising total damping down of the inferno to ensure no ignition or outbreak of any sort from ashes or combustible materials at the scene of the incident,” she said.

According to her, the Ilupeju fire station also complemented the Sari-Iganmu station alongside the Federal Fire Service.

Investigations, she said, is ongoing to get the cause (s) of the inferno.

The Acting Director of Lagos State Fire Service, Mr Rasaki Musibau, advised all electrical appliances should be put off at the close of work.

This, he said, would prevent electrical surge which could lead to fire.

Musibau added that cautions should be taken in handling or exposure to naked fire especially during “this heat season.”

He warned Lagosians to avoid panic buying of fuel and desist from storing same at home.