Sunday, April 14, 2024

Kwara market fire destroys 15 shops, governor joins rescue operation

Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, on Wednesday night, joined men of the State Fire Service in a rescue operation to salvage goods and property at the Oja Tuntun market, Baboko, Ilorin in Ilorin West Local Government Area of the state, when fire razed 15 shops in the market.

The fire which started around 9.18 p.m. affected 15 shops with goods lost estimated at N367.4 million.

The market which is located in the heart of the ancient town houses 1,072 shops, 984 stands, and 27 warehouses.

The State Fire Service said it deployed equipment from two of its major stations located in Ilorin, the state capital, adding that it saved property estimated at about N25 billion as a result of its quick intervention.

The cause of the fire could not be ascertained at the time of filing this report.

The Head, Media and Publicity of the state Fire Service, Hassan Adekunle, in a statement, said, “On November 22, 2023, at approximately 21:18 hours, the Kwara State Fire Service responded to a fire at Oja Tuntun Market in Ilorin West Local Government Area.

“Upon arrival, the fire crew found numerous shops ablaze and worked swiftly to control and extinguish the fire. Two fire appliances from different stations, namely Brigade Headquarters and Folawiyo Road Fire Station, collaborated to tackle the situation effectively.

“Oja Tuntun Market, housing 1 072 shops, 984 stands, and 27 warehouses, experienced minimal damage, with only 15 shops affected by the inferno.

“The fire service’s prompt and efficient response helped save commodities and property valued at over N25 billion. The cause of the fire couldn’t be ascertained yet while an investigation is ongoing.

“Notably, the state Governor, Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq was present at the scene, expressing sympathy for those affected and commending the efforts of the Kwara State Fire Service in successfully managing the situation.”

The Director of Kwara State Fire Service, Falade Olumuyiwa, urged the citizens to always cultivate the habit of switching off their electrical appliances even before bedtime, adding that “this would help them to prevent the chances of fire outbreaks in their various homes, market places, offices and also help them to drastically reduce it.”

Meanwhile, the President of the 8th Senate, Bukola Saraki, has sympathised with the victims of the inferno that engulfed the Kuntu wing of Oja Tuntun.

Saraki, in a statement, by his Press Officer on Local Matters, Abdulganyu Abdulqadir, which was made available to newsmen on Thursday expressed worry over the incessant occurrence of fire incidents in the city and called for urgent steps to address it.

He commended the men of the fire service for their timely interventions and said all measures must be put in place to put an end to these avoidable incidents that are wreaking havoc on the people’s source of livelihood.

“My thought with the marketers and Oja Tuntun community over the unfortunate fire at the market late Wednesday night.

“This is a huge concern and I call on everyone to join hands to find lasting solutions to forestall such sad occurrences in the future,” he said.

The Waziri Ngeri of Ilorin prayed to God Almighty to relieve the affected marketers and grant them succour over their losses.

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