Osun State Fire Service on Friday described as ‘severe’ the fire that ravaged a section of Oja Tuntun, considered as the biggest market in Ile-Ife.
Giving updates of the incident in a chat with our correspondent, the Administrative Officer of the State Fire Service, Fatai Aremu, said over 30 shops were razed in the inferno.
He explained that the Secretary of Ife Central Local Government Area, Sogo Elusakin, called Ife Unit Office of the state fire service around 5:30pm on Thursday when the inferno started.
“Our men immediately proceeded to the scene. Upon arrival, a row of 30 shops had been engulfed by fire. While battling to extinguish the fire, OAU (Obafemi Awolowo University) Ile-Ife Fire personnel, as well as OAU Teaching Hospital Complex Fire personnel also joined our men.
“With the combined effort of the three fire engines, we were able to subdue the fire. The supposed cause of the fire is still unknown as there was no electricity supply to the market and the shops were not open as at the time the fire started,” Aremu said.
According to him, investigation to unravel the cause of the fire has commenced.
Meanwhile, the Osun State Police Command has said operatives had been deployed in the scene of the incident to prevent looting.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Yemisi Opalola, told our correspondent that security around the scene had been beefed up.
Also, the lawmaker representing Osun East Senatorial District, Senator Adenigba Fadahunsi, called on the federal and state government to equip the fire service to be more proactive and responsive. The lawmaker made the call in a statement by his Media Adviser, Sam Segun-Progress.
The statement read in part, “Why should traders in the market go through the agonising pain annually? Are there no people saddled with the responsibility of taking care of the market? Is there no arm of government generating revenue from this market? Why is it difficult to put preventive measure in place?”
Fadahunsi then called on the state government to come to the aid of the traders and put mechanism in place to prevent reoccurrence of such disaster.