Fire destroys NNPC station, stores, vehicles in Lagos
Fire yesterday burnt the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) filling station located at Yaya Abatan Street in Ogba, Lagos State. The fire, which burnt a petroleum tanker and more than 10 vehicles, also affected a one-storey building housing some supermarkets, Maranada Stores, Springboard Kiddies Collections and Potent Medicals.
The filling station also has a cooking gas shop close by and is surrounded by residential homes and shops. An eyewitness who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that the fire was caused by an electrical fault while a tanker was discharging diesel.
According him, the fire may have been put out if the fire-fighter tanks had come with enough water. He said: “The first two tankers of the Lagos State Fire Service came without water. They had to call the Federal Fire Service, which later came with water. Before then, the fire had entered the underground tanker. The only thing that delayed the fire from spreading rapidly was that it was not fuel but diesel.”
Mr. Obodoechi Darlington, who lives around the area, blamed the government for not taking proactive measures. He said: “It shows how careless our government could be. How could they allow filling station in a highly populated place like this. Apart from that, how can the fire-fighter tank in Lagos not have water when many parts of Lagos is below the sea level. The truth is that our government does not prepare for eventualities. That is exactly what we are facing with the Covid-19 pandemic. How can you tell people to stay at home without palliatives? It is unfortunate that properties have been lost.”
The owner of Springboard Kiddies Collections, Mr. Adeyinka Adenugba, who lives at Akute area of Lagos, said that when he heard about the incident on radio, he rushed and prayed that the fire would spare his shop. “I called the name of Pastor T.B. Joshua because I believe strongly in his message and was happy when the fire started going down. I pray it will not go beyond this level,” he said.
As at the time of filling this report, two police patrol vehicles were stationed at the scene. A senior police officer at the scene who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he was not supposed to speak with the press, said they were there to keep watch in order to ward off criminals from cashing in on the situation to take laws into their hands.
“You can see the mammoth crowd in this place. Majority of them came with good intention to help salvage the fire, but few criminal elements can seize the opportunity to cause confusion and exhibit their criminal tendencies. You know what has been happening in the state these days. If care is not taken, you will see them going on rampage. We will remain here until further notice.”
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