Seven buildings in the Balogun Market area of Lagos Island, Lagos State, were on Wednesday, razed by fire.
The incident happened on Martins and Sunny Adewale streets.
It was learnt that the fire started around 8.30am from a four-storey building located at No. 35/37, Martins Street, and quickly spread to the adjoining buildings.
Most of the razed buildings were besides the Great Nigeria Insurance building, which was similarly burnt on November 5, 2019.
Our correspondent gathered that a generator was working when one of the traders attempted refuelling it which started the fire.
Some of the traders told PUNCH Metro that when the fire started, they contacted the Lagos State Fire Service, whose personnel arrived at the scene promptly.
They added that there was little the firemen could do as hawkers and other traders congested the scene.
One of the victims, Gift Duru, said if the hawkers, who blocked the street through indiscriminate display of their wares, had conducted themselves properly, the fire would not have spread to other buildings.
Duru, whose two shops were located at Nos. 8 and 10 Sunny Adewale Street, explained that she lost goods worth millions of naira to the inferno.
She stated, “The fire was not caused by any electrical spark; it was premeditated to bring pain to the people. Fire incidents are too frequent in this Balogun Market.
“In less than two minutes, the fire had spread to many buildings and many of the victims couldn’t salvage a pin. We were not able to salvage anything, including the money inside the drawers, from our two shops.
“We have lost millions of naira to the inferno. We want the government to come to our aid and help us.”
Another victim, Mr David Obinna, who had a shop and a warehouse at No. 52 Martins Street, said he lost goods worth millions of United States dollars to the inferno.
Obinna, who deals in exotic shoes and clothes, said he could not blame anybody for the incident, but called on the Lagos State Government to come to the aid of the victims.