Balogun Fire: Lagos Govt. Begins Enumeration Of Affected Traders

The Lagos State Government has commenced enumeration of the traders affected by the recent fire outbreak which razed some high-rise buildings housing shops and residential homes at Martins Street, Lagos.

The Director General Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, who made this known to newsmen in Lagos on Thursday, also said the state government has begun the integrity test of all the structures in Lagos market to avoid future disaster.

He explained that the enumeration would assist the traders in their businesses, while property owners who suffered losses as a result of the fire would be given financial assistance.

“The very weak buildings detected in the course of conducting the tests, would be pulled down to further reduce chances of disasters of such great magnitude in the state.

“I enjoin Lagos resident and traders not to overbuild commercial areas and respect the physical planning laws of the state regarding provision of roads, setbacks and parking spaces for vehicles and allowances for firefighting appliances to penetrate the area in case of a fire incident.

“I also assure residents that there is no need to panic, nor hesitate to contact the relevant authorities in the event of any form of emergency/disaster through the State emergency toll free line 767 or 112,” the LASEMA boss said.

He explained that goods worth millions of naira were lost in the inferno.

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Oke-Osanyintolu attributed high incidences of fire outbreak to the inability of property and shop owners to put in place necessary precautionary measures to avoid incidents that could have disastrous consequences.

He warned against storage of highly inflammable materials such as petrol, diesel, kerosene adding that people should also desist from storing generators in their penthouses or roof tops as well as combustible materials for safety of lives and property.

He said that government had made provision for fire hydrants in the past at Idumota and its environs, which was destroyed by the residents in that area and advised everyone to install fire extinguishers in their various homes, offices and shops to forestall a future re-occurrence.

Also, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye, said that the two buildings at No 41 and 45 Martins Street would under go integrity test to confirm if they are habitable or not.
According to him, the result of the integrity test would determine the next line of action.

Also speaking, the General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Mrs. Abiola Kosegbe, disclosed that a total of 700 buildings had been identified as distressed.

She said that before the buildings would be pulled down the government would give notice to the owner of property after confirming the structure stability of the building by Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory.

The Chairman Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Lanre Omojola, said that his commission would carry out Post Fire Risk Assessment, to enable them identify the cause of the fire.