Fire razes Ibadan Market [...over 300 shops & N1billion worth of goods destroyed]

More than 300 shops were destroyed on Wednesday at the Labaowo International Market, off Oke-Bola, Ibadan, Oyo State, the Market President, Lukman Alaka said.

A young girl was also reported to have sustained injuries in the inferno, while property worth over one billion naira was gutted.

However, no life was lost in the fire that lasted for more than five hours, although some traders were seen trying to retrieve some goods from the burning fire.

According to Alaka, electronics, motor spare parts, generator spare parts, building materials and many other goods were lost to the fire incident.

When asked what caused the fire, he said: “Suddenly, we saw balls of smoke accompanied by fire. We called all the fire stations close to us, but the response was not immediate. I called Challenge Fire Station and another one at Mapo. When I noticed that they were not forthcoming, I had to go to Mapo before help could come. But, before we got back to the market, the fire had gone out of hand.

“As for the property lost, it can’t be less than one billion naira. Many traders were affected. Some could not even retrieve anything from their shops. We would be happy if the government can provide a fire station for us here.”

The Director of State Fire Service, Kareem Oyekunle, however, revealed that it took his men a long time before they could put out the fire, adding that he and his officials responded swiftly to the distress call.