Market fires: Lagos decries storage of inflammables in shops, public places

* To engage market leaders as safety ambassadors, emergency committee members

Muritala Ayinla

Worried by the frequent cases of fire outbreaks resulting into loss of lives and property, the Lagos State government has revealed plans to make market leaders “safety ambassadors” and enlisted them as emergency committee members.
Director General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, who disclosed this Friday, said the frequency of fire incidences had prompted the state to be proactive by collaborating with market leaders to take positive steps to avoid loss of their investments to fire outbreaks.
He added that the move became necessary following the recent spate of fire incidents which has resulted in heavy loss of lives and property running into billions of naira, adding that a situation whereby markets in the state become filling stations where thousands of litres of fuel were stored would no longer be acceptable.
He said the government would work with ‘Iya Olojas’ and ‘Baba Olojas’ on the inauguration of emergency committees to avert fire incidents in markets.
Osanyintolu blamed the difficulties in combatting the inferno onlarge volumes of fuel being stored in some of the markets, adding that indiscriminate storage of inflammables pose a serious diffculty for fire fighters battling such disasters.
The LASEMA boss added that the state government has launched a new drive to verify the state of fire hydrants located across the state with a view to ascertaining their functionality and how to deploy more in vulnerable locations.

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