Not fewer than 25 families were rendered homeless yesterday, following a fire outbreak that engulfed three buildings in Lagos.
The popular Ebano Supermarket in the highbrow Lekki metropolis, some shops and the popular Idumota Market, are among the affected structures.
Two of the affected buildings were located in the densely-populated Ajegunle area of Lagos, one of which was the palace of the Baale(traditional ruler).
However, no life was reportedly lost in any of the incidents. But properties worth millions of naira were destroyed.
The Ajegunle inferno was said to have been caused by petroleum products stored in one of the buildings by a black market dealer. Some occupants of the affected buildings sustained varying degrees of injuries during the ensuing stampede.
Reports said an explosion occurred at 1, Freedom Street, at about 10.30a.m., while a welder, simply identified as Israel, was constructing an iron cage for the storage of petroleum products.
Efforts to contain the fire failed as it reportedly engulfed the entire building and spread to 171, Orodu Street.
Fuel dealer escapes
The black market dealer, whose identity could not be ascertained, escaped on noticing the wreckage.
When Vanguard arrived the scene, the fire was still raging, with occupants in mourning.
One of them, a pregnant woman, was said to have collapsed.
An eyewitness, who simply gave his name as Saidi, blamed the tragedy on the welder, pointing out that if the jerry cans filled with petroleum products had been moved away from the spot, the spark of light from the welding machine would not have ignited.
Residents told Vanguard that fire service officials who arrived the scene to contain the situation, left for more water.
An eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “Had the owner of house on 171, Orodu Street been alive, this incident would not have happened because he would have kicked against the sale of petroleum products.
“The woman, who caused all this, has been warned several times to change business, but she did not heed the advice.
“Only last week, a prophet who came to warn that danger was looming and that everyone should beware of fire outbreak. This woman was cautioned again. But she got more products because of the rumoured fuel scarcity.”
We received 4 different
distress calls— Fadipe
Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Mr. Rasaq Fadipe, said when they received the distress calls, fire trucks from Illupeju and Isolo were drafted to the scene.
Also at the scene were policemen from Ajeromi Ifelodun Division.
Fadipe said that distress calls were also received at “Oko-Baba in Ebute Meta area of the state and Ebano Supermarket at Lekki at about 6.05p.m.
“Two fire trucks were deplored to each of the locations. At about 6.20p.m., another call about fire outbreak was received at Oju-Olobun, Idumota, where some shops were affected.”
Meanwhile, two unidentified construction workers narrowly escaped death yesterday, when an uncompleted building, where they were working, close to St. Triumph Primary School at Olagunju Street, Magbon, Badagry, suddenly collapsed.
The incident, as gathered, occurred at about 12.45p.m.
The building was said to have been marked by officials of Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, which ordered that work should stop. But the developer allegedly ignored the directive.
General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Michael Akindele, said: “LASBCA had marked the building for ongoing construction to stop.
“Two construction workers were injured and treated by LASAMBUS officials at the spot. The primary school beside it was not affected. Investigation is still ongoing to ascertain the cause of the collapse.”
Rasaq Fadipe told Vanguard that the Fire Station from Badagry responded to the incident.
Source: Vanguard Nigeria