Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola has ordered the closure of Breadfruit Street in Central Lagos, following the Saturday fire incident at Euroasia Plaza.
The Euroasia Plaza, a five-storey building housing wholesale and retail shops as well as a branch of a major commercial bank, was engulfed in an inferno late afternoon on Saturday with the two top floors collapsing on each other. Officials of the state’s Fire Service were still battling with fire on the fourth and fifth floors of the building on Sunday morning.
Fashola, who visited the scene on Sunday, said the street had to be cordoned off until firemen completely put off the fire and engineers determine the structural strength of the building. He said, “It is expedient to cordon off the street on which the building stands for safety reasons. “At this stage, we are still battling with the fire.
"We are yet to know the strength of the damaged building; but meanwhile, the paramount thing is to minimise the loss. I have asked the Divisional Police Officer here to cordon off the street. Our Engineers will come to determine the structural strength of the damaged building.”
Fashola, who later spoke with traders and other stakeholders in the area, appealed to them to cooperate with the police and the firemen by being patient until both the firemen and the structural engineers finish their work on the building. He explained that it was necessary to prevent people from trading or going near the building in order to avoid loss of life.
“I apologise to you and others who are doing business here, but we are taking precaution to avoid any loss of life. Every other thing that is lost in the fire is replaceable but we cannot replace life. So let us eliminate the fire and save life.
“You can see, the fire is not fully out. Until we finish our work, we will not allow you to go close or into the building to avoid any loss of life,” Fashola said.
Responding to a question by one of the affected traders on what government would do to assist them, Fashola said the priority was to ensure safety, stop the fire and determe the structural integrity of the building.