N360m property lost to Kwara inferno – Fire Service

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The Kwara State Fire Service, on Tuesday, stated that a fire incident which razed 50 shops in Owode Market in the Offa Local Government Area of the state resulted in a loss of about N360m worth of property.

The fire incident, which occurred in the early hours of Tuesday, was said to have been caused by a dropped lit cigarette end, igniting combustible materials.

According Metro reports that Owode Market, which is the largest market in Kwara State, is a commercial hub housing about 3,820 shops and 1,180 stands.

According to the State Fire Service, the fire started at about 2am on Tuesday, with the firemen in Offa alerted at 2.30am.

A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the Kwara State Fire Service, Hassan Adekunle, on behalf of the agency’s Director, John Falade, stated that 50 shops in the market were affected by the fire, with property losses estimated at more than N360m.

“Initial assessments revealed that Owode Market, a bustling commercial hub housing 3,820 shops and 1,180 stands, remarkably suffered minimal damage. Only 50 shops bore the brunt of the inferno, thanks to the swift response and decisive actions of the Fire Service.

“The value of commodities and properties salvaged by the firefighting efforts is estimated to exceed N12bn, providing significant relief amidst the crisis. However, the unfortunate incident resulted in property losses amounting to N360m.

“Following a thorough investigation, it was determined that the fire was sparked by a dropped cigarette end igniting combustible materials, underscoring the critical importance of fire safety awareness and preventive measures,” Adekunle stated in the statement.

Describing the response of the agency to the distress call, Adekunle said, “In a commendable display of promptness and efficiency, the Kwara State Fire Service swiftly responded to a devastating fire outbreak at Owode Market in Offa Local Government Area in the early hours of Tuesday, April 2, 2024.

“Upon receiving the distress call at approximately 02:30 hours, a team of firemen led by ACF Oyeyipo James immediately sprang into action.

“Arriving at the scene, they were met with a harrowing sight – numerous shops ablaze, with federal firefighting counterparts already engaged in combating the inferno. Undeterred, the Kwara State Fire Service personnel joined forces with their federal counterparts, deploying two fire appliances from different stations to effectively tackle the raging blaze.

“The collaborative efforts of the firefighting teams proved instrumental in bringing the situation under control. Despite the daunting challenge, it took a concerted five-hour-long battle to fully extinguish the flames, ensuring the safety of lives and properties within the vicinity.”

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