An inferno too many


Billows of thick smoke from the CWAY factory at Kessingsheen Complex, NNPC bus-stop, Ejigbo on Tuesday. PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

Residents express worries over incessant fire outbreaks

TREPIDATION yesterday trailed the incessant fire outbreaks in Lagos metropolis, with residents calling for a more virile approach towards stemming the tide.

To the residents, it is becoming an inferno too many, which should not continue, considering the scores of human lives lost and billions of Naira worth of goods and property destroyed in the infernos.

Lagosians, who spoke to The Guardian on the issue said the three fire incidents recorded on Tuesday in different parts of the metropolis, have made it extremely vital for everyone to pay attention to safety issues.
An Ejigbo- based fashion designer, Mrs. Geraldine Onyeka, said her concern arose from Tuesday’s fire outbreaks at Kessingsheen Plaza, which formerly housed Cway factory, located opposite the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) bus stop in Ejigbo, Lagos.

The incident coincided with fire outbreaks involving a story building at N0 41 Axillar Street, Lawanson Road, Surulere and at 401 Road, FESTAC Town, Lagos.

Although no life was lost in the incidents, those who expressed their concern said they were worried about the limited resources available to fire fighters in the state.
In the Ejigbo, incident, which started late on Tuesday’s evening, the fire fighters battled till late in the night to contain it.

Although fire fighters ruled out electrical or chemical fault as the cause of the inferno, an eyewitness said it was caused by explosion of the company’s generator.

Any eye witness, Temitope Abioye, who works at the company, said people that were on night duty when the fire started, were busy working, when, all of a sudden, they heard an explosion from the back of the factory.

According to them, some people who went to check what the problem was, even before they got there, saw fire coming from that direction of the generator. They raised alarm, which made every one ran for their lives. Before they knew what was happening, everywhere was burnt.”

Temitope, who said it was the second time such an incident was happening, said so many properties were lost in the inferno.
Another eyewitness, Chioma Ogbonna said, her most concern about the situation is the fact that they could become jobless and their salary might not be paid because of the incident.

Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Rasaq Fadipe, who also confirmed multiple fire incidents across the state on Tuesday said: “A mini truck fully laden with jerycans caught fire while siphoning fuel from an underground tank inside Energy filling station at Ejigbo.
“We deployed fire trucks from Isolo and Ikotun and they battled it to prevent devastating consequence.
“Another outbreak of fire is on now involving a storey building at 41 Ayilara Street, Lawanson Road, Surulere. We deployed fire trucks from Ilupeju and Sari Iganmu.
“Also at FESTAC Town, another outbreak of fire is ongoing at 401 road and the fire truck from Ojo is battling with it.”

But a Lagos resident, Michael Ojie urged the Lagos state government to initiate a new strategy to curtail fire outbreaks in the state.

He said: “The recent fire disaster that led to the death of a family of seven in Obele Lawanson Community, Surulere, Lagos, was, indeed, a grievous episode.
“The losses from fire incidents are always huge and bothersome considering its effects on our socio-economic life.
“It results in pains and deaths to victims, wastes time, money and materials and damage to equipment and structures. It is therefore, discouraging to know that most of these disasters are not acts of God but rather the products of human errors and carelessness.
“For instance, the recent fire episode that killed a family of seven was reportedly caused by candle light, which was not put off at night.”

He, therefore, advised that risky ventures like storing of petroleum products at homes and reckless use of cooking gas at homes should be discouraged.
He also urged the Lagos fire service to intensify its fire prevention campaign started in September to stem the frequent fire outbreak in the state.

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