Fire has consumed no less than 13 shops at the Agbara Market, along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway in Lagos.
According to NAN, the fire began at about 4:35am from one of the container shops opposite the expressway.
The cause of the inferno is yet to be ascertained, but 13 shops all situated in a single line directly opposite the expressway have been razed.
The incident coincides with the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Lagos for the commissioning of some projects.
A shop owner, Funmi Olabode, said she was contacted on phone by a neighbour who informed her of the incident.
She said she evacuated all her wares before the fire razed her shop, but expressed regrets that she could not rescue the goods of some of her neighbours.
Another shop owner, David Buka, who was also able to rescue his wares, expressed shock, saying: “I don’t even know what to say; I live nearby, and I woke up early because today is supposed to be our market day, only for me to meet this situation.”
Kazeem Sowemimo, who helped in the rescue of some shop owners' wares, said that he works at a Keke Park located in the market and was coming out for his day’s work only to discover the inferno.
He said: “As I came out, I saw fire and saw as everybody was running up and down, so I just began to help out.”
Some shop owners who arrived at the market later were seen opening their shops and hurriedly moving out their goods before the fire extended to their shops.
But those whose shops were razed were seen crying and lamenting.
The team from the Fire Service in Agbara arrived at the market at about 5:57am and began fighting the fire.
They, however, declined to make any comment on the incidenct.
Meanwhile, amidst the fire incident, a gospel preacher with a loud speaker seized the opportunity to preach and warn those helping in the rescue of goods not to steal them.
He said: “People of God, give glory to God in all situations; and all those of you helping to park goods of people, don’t take what does not belong to you; if you steal here, the fire of God will consume you.”