The popular Sabo Market in Sagamu, Ogun State was on Tuesday razed by fire.
The fire which started around 2am gutted over 500 shops while goods worth millions of naira were burnt to ashes.
According to an eye witness, some of the shop owners kept huge sums of money in their shops which got burnt with their items.
Blue Print gathered that a young boy, before the fire spread, rushed into his mother’s shop and retrieved N10 million which his mother kept in the deep freezer after which he collapsed due to suffocation.
The eye witness, Sunday Awodipe told Blue Print that the fire started at “midnight” and lasted for three hours before it was contained by firemen.
“The combined efforts of firemen from Sagamu, Ijebu-ode and Babcock University spent three hours before it was put off”, he stated.
Awodipe said, “A young boy, before the fire got to an uncontrollable situation, rushed to his mother’s shop and retrieved N10 million the mother had kept in the deep freezer after which he collapsed due to suffocation of the smoke and was rushed to the hospital”.
Items burnt included electronics, clothes, shoes, food stuffs and kolanuts among others.
The fire it was learnt was caused by power surge but the State Director of Fire Service, Fatai Adefala said the cause was yet to be known, assuring that the cause would be made public as soon as they complete their investigation.
Adefala who disclosed that shops burnt included open and locked up shops, advised members of the public to be extra cautious in this “dry season” so as to avoid such fire incidents.
The State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun in reaction yesterday assured that the market would be re-built.
He also pledged that his government would provide relief to the affected traders to cushion their losses.
The Governor in the morning visited the scene of the fire incident for an on-the-spot assessment.
Governor Abiodun promised the victims speedy intervention from his Government, as he said he would be liaising with the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and market leaders on providing some relief that would cushion their losses.
He appreciated the Paramount Ruler of Remo Federal Constituency, His Royal Highness Babatunde Adewale Ajayi, Torungbunwa II for his quick intervention and visit to the scene on Tuesday morning.
The Governor also thanked fire emergency responders from Abeokuta, Ijebu-Ode and Babcock University for their swift responses.
Governor said, “By the grace of God, we will rebuild this market and we will not waste time, we will put measures in place to ensure it does not happen again in the future, we will also look at how to ensure the efficiency of our fire service, please,I want to enjoin you to be patient, calm, give government some time, we will do everything we can to bring succor and relief to all those that are affected, we must learn a lesson from what has happened here overnight, this must not happen in any of our markets again.”
He noted that his administration will embark on a relief exercise for the affected traders, adding that they will also look at the design of the market to look at how accessible the market is to fire engines in the case of such disasters.