Tears flowed freely yesterday, as traders lamented losses after a midnight inferno gutted a section of the popular Balogun market in Lagos.
The traders lamented that they had stocked goods worth millions of naira for end-of-year sales before the fire incident occurred.
Sources said the fire incident started at midnight, nine days before Christmas.
The Guardian learnt that many traders selling clothes and bags were most hit.
Narrating the incident amidst tears, an affected trader, identified simply as Iya Akande, lamented that some traders took loans to purchase goods ahead of Christmas and the New Year.
She said: “I just came to the market to open my shop and saw many traders crying. I looked up and saw that our goods had been gutted by fire.
“We are in trouble. Many of us took loans to get goods so that we can make much profit during this festive period.”
Iya Akande put the cost of burnt goods at million of naira.
Director, Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, Mrs. Margaret Adeseye, in a statement, yesterday, said the service attended to a Fire Call at about 05:50 hours on Thursday at Gbade Plaza, 24, Nnamdi Azikwe Street, Lagos Island.
According to her, the fire involving only three shops at the ground floor from among 56 shops in the three-storey plaza was met well alight and extinguished from escalating to adjoining structures.
“It is on record that the fire has completely been put out at 0740 hours with the combined efforts of the Federal Fire Service as investigation into the cause is ongoing while no casualty was recorded,” she added.