N500m goods, cash destroyed as fire guts Sagamu market

Over half a billion naira of goods and properties perished yesterday, as a night fire ravaged the popular Sabo market in Sagamu, Ogun State.

Many traders were in tears, as they lamented their losses.

It was gathered that the fire started around 2am in one of the locked-up shops, following suspected power surge when a power distribution company restored electricity to the Sabo area. The harmattan breeze helped the fire to spread.

There were sounds of explosions from different locations within the market, believed to have emanated from generators, gas cylinders and grinding machines.

Over 300 stalls were razed by the inferno.

Governor Dapo Abiodun, who had just returned from a working trip to the United Kingdom, visited the market and assessed the extent of damage.

The governor pledged to enumerate the losses and consider immediate relief measures for the victims

The Nation was told of a son of one of the traders, who was said to have dared the fire, plunging himself into it to retrieve his mother’s N10million kept inside a freezer in her stall, but the boy was said to have collapsed after the risky act and he was rushed to hospital.

Fire fighters, who raced to the scene on the instruction of Governor Dapo Abiodun, were reported to have arrived the market at about 4am with insufficient water to put out the raging inferno.

The fire, which raged on for over three hours, was eventually put out through the combined efforts of fire fighters from Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu, Abeokuta and Babcock University, Ilisan Remo.

But before the arrival of the fire fighters, residents of the area and some of the traders, who responded to distress calls, attacked the fire with bowls of water and in the process, were able to salvage some of the stalls.

One of the affected traders, Mrs. Bolatito Odubanjo, said she lost goods worth over N2million to the fire, while Mrs. Sola Ekundayo also said she lost goods worth over N300,000.

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