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Eight-day-old baby, WAEC results burnt in Lagos fire

By Tope Templer Olaiya, Metro Editor   |   08 May 2017   |   4:39 am

The raging inferno swept through the shanty Makoko settlement, burning about 20 structures, and rendering over 80 people homeless. An eyewitness said the fire started around 8:00p.m. due to the negligence of a resident who was cooking.

Dozens of students’ West African Examination Council (WAEC) result and property worth millions of naira were destroyed as 32 flats were razed in a fire incident that occurred at Satellite Town area of Lagos at the weekend.

One person was seriously injured in the incident, which occurred between Saturday evening and Sunday morning. In another incident, an eight-day-old baby was burnt to death after a fire broke out in Abeke street, Makoko area of Lagos, which razed down houses.

The raging inferno swept through the shanty Makoko settlement, burning about 20 structures, and rendering over 80 people homeless. An eyewitness said the fire started around 8:00p.m. due to the negligence of a resident who was cooking.

By the time the fire fighters got to the scene, the fire had engulfed nearly the whole street. One of the victims said: “The first fire service tanker that got to the scene didn’t have water. Before support could come, the fire had wrecked its havoc. The sad part is that the fire killed a small baby that was named just a day before. The mother didn’t know that the foam where she kept her baby was on fire.”

Bashir, one of the residents, was at mosque when the fire broke out. He said, “we heard people shouting but we were not moved because it is a regular thing for people to shout in this area. After the prayer, I headed home and saw people gathered around my area. I saw the fire and it was still far from my house.”

It was gathered that the fire at Satellite Town, which gutted the former Stepping Stones Comprehensive Girls College that had been converted to a residential building, started from one of the flats late on Saturday evening and raged till around 1:00a.m. on Sunday.

Fire fighters had a tough time battling the inferno, which sources said was caused by a spark from a power surge when electricity was restored in the area. The spark burnt all the electrical wirings connected the affected buildings.

Residents battled to put out the fire but it grew raged on uncontrollably for hours, prompting them to resort to the fire fighters. The fire fighters, who arrived the scene nearly an hour later could not access the major point of the fire for more than 45 minutes as a result of what was described as the “nature of the building.”

The fire grew wilder, as gas cylinders and air-condition compressors exploded, spreading from one apartment to the other. A woman, who jumped from one of the floors of the building, was also badly injured.

The only unoccupied flat, where WAEC results of former students of the converted school were stored, was also burnt in the inferno. The spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), in charge of the South West zone, Ibrahim Farinloye, confirmed the incident to The Guardian.

He said: A fire outbreak at former Stepping stone Comprehensive Girls College, 9/11 Stepping Stone Close, Satellite Town, Lagos converted to 30 residential apartments occurred late on Saturday. A woman was injured while WAEC results of many former students were burnt among other property damaged by the fire.”

NEMA Zonal Coordinator, Alhaji Suleiman, while speaking on the incident, advised the owner of the complex to gather all the mutilated certificates with police report and report the incident to WASCE for issuance of Certified True Copies of the affected certificates.




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