An inferno at Sango Plank Market in Ibadan on Friday has burned millions of naira worth of merchandise and destroyed no less than 100 shops.
The fire was reported to have started at 2 am according to Mr. Abdul-Akeem Olanrewaju, the Chairman of Ibadan and Area carpenters’ association.
“The inferno would have burnt the entire marker and some surrounding houses if not for the swift intervention of the Oyo State Fire Service.
We have a task force that usually goes out on patrol at the close of the market to ensure that no electrical appliance or machine is left connected to power supply.
I don’t think this fire disaster was from power supply and our machines.”
The chairman alleged that it must have been the work of arsonists.
Mr. Abdul-Azeez Dauda, a victim believes he lost everything in the blaze and is worried about the future of his livelihood “How do I survive? How do I pay the school fees of my children? How do we eat at home now? Honestly, I don’t know what to do. I need assistance.”
Another victim lamented that there had never been a record of fire disaster at that section of the plank market. “This is strange. At about 2 a.m., someone called me that the market was on fire and by the time I got here, the entire place had been razed. I am confused.”
The Director of Oyo State Fire Service, Mr. Moshood Adewuyi, told media tabloids at the scene “The fire brigade was swiftly mobilised to the scene immediately a distress call was made to his office.
When I got there, I learnt the fire started from a shop. They said the electricity supply was fully on when the fire started.
So, one of the machines might have overrun leading to the fire outbreak. The traders deal with free burning materials that quickly ignite and spread,” Adewuyi, has urged shop owners in future to be careful with their working tools and abide by all safety protocols.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Adekunle Ajisebutu, told newsmen that Mr. Abiodun Odude, the State Commissioner of Police, has visited the scene to spread support and assure the traders of security and an investigation into why the fire started.
The market had witnessed many such disasters in the past, with the last razing over 300 shops.