Tragedy struck Sunday midnight into Monday morning as a gas explosion caused a fire outbreak in residential makeshift structures covering over two acres of land at Star Road, by Horizon Heights, Ikate-Elegushi, Lekki area of Lagos State.
The incident, which was attributed to negligence on the part of the occupants, destroyed properties worth millions of naira in the process.
According to an eyewitness, the unfortunate incident happened at about 11 p.m. and lasted into the early hours of Monday.
Men of the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, Lagos State Emergency Management, LASEMA, and other emergency responders who raced to the scene were able to curtail the raging inferno from the makeshift structures, preventing a further spread to other adjoining highbrow properties.
However, it was gathered that 62 gas cylinders were discovered during firefighting, which aided in the spread of the fire as they were triggered simultaneously. The inferno was eventually put out at about 1 a.m., while the mop-up exercise was concluded around 3 a.m. for the enumeration of property. This process was still ongoing at press time.
Properties destroyed in the inferno included makeshift structures, household contents, cash, and other valuables worth millions of naira.
While reacting to the incident, the Director, Lagos Fire and Rescue Service, Margaret Adeseye, stated that the prompt intervention of firemen from the Oniru and Lekki Phase II Fire Stations saved the inferno from further damage to adjoining properties.
Adeseye said that a preliminary investigation conducted attributed the cause of the inferno to negligence on the part of the occupants.
While confirming no loss of life, she said “at least two male adults were injured and treated by Lagos State Ambulances Service, LASAMBUS, and in stable health condition.”
Meanwhile, evacuation and other rescue operations were still ongoing at press time.
Lagos launches fire safety campaign
Recall that the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, in partnership with the Lagos State Safety Commission, launched a comprehensive fire safety awareness campaign as part of proactive measures to address the alarming rate of fire incidents in public areas, particularly during the harmattan period.
In recent times, there have been recorded cases of infernos in the state, particularly as a result of gas explosions, which destroyed several properties worth millions in the process.
The safety campaign, led by the Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Olugbenga Oyerinde, alongside Mr Lanre Mojola, the Director General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, and Adeseye, aimed to educate traders on the importance of fire safety measures.
Addressing the traders, Adeseye stressed the need for vigilance and adherence to safety protocols to mitigate the risk of fire outbreaks, particularly during the ongoing Harmattan season.
She underscored the devastating impact of negligence, citing approximately 251 fire-related emergency calls received by the Fire and Rescue Service in January alone.
Adeseye, while urging market dwellers to prioritise safety compliance and foster a collective responsibility towards fire prevention, stressed that “fire incidents can have far-reaching consequences beyond the immediate vicinity.”
She, however, reiterated the importance of promptly reporting emergencies to the state’s toll-free numbers, 767 or 112, to facilitate swift response and minimise property damage and loss of life.