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One dies as fire guts Lagos buildings, RRS headquarters

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The building gutted by fire in Magodo


• Traders urged to get central generating sets to prevent fire outbreaks

Weeks after a pipeline explosion in Abule Egba area of Lagos killed five persons and burnt houses, a gas explosion at Ilasamaja area of the state killed one person. Residents of Ogunbowale Street in Ilasamaja community had been rudely woken out of sleep when a fire broke in the early hours of yesterday.

Though it was immediately contained, an eyewitness said the outbreak, caused by a gas explosion, claimed a life. The fire was said to have started at about 2:00a.m., but residents were immediately mobilized to vacate the premises and combine efforts to fight the fire before the arrival of firefighters.

According to an eyewitness, Helen Akpodonor, the deceased, whose name was not disclosed, had gone back into the burning building to retrieve his money and some other property when he got burnt in the process.

“Although people tried to persuade him not to go back into the building, he refused. On getting into the building, a pillar fell on him, he got burnt and died. The incident caused panic, as most residents could no longer go to sleep for fear of it spreading.

“Affected residents had to pack a few of their belongings which they could rescue outside and kept vigil till sunrise for fear of it being looted. Fortunately, the fire was kept under control before it could spread to other buildings,” she said.Tragedy also struck yesterday at No. 70, Bashiru Street in Magodo area of Lagos State as goods worth millions of naira was razed down by fire. It was gathered that the fire started from the back room of a building of two flats behind the main building, which is the landlord’s duplex.

The building was razed to the ground by the fire, which lasted for two hours after futile efforts to stop it. “Goods were flunged out as fire razed the lace shop called Iman Textiles and Accessories in front of the building,” an eyewitness said.It was also gathered that the owner of the property, popularly known as Alhaji in the area, slumped but was later revived. Firefighters came after the building has been razed to the ground.

Also, the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) unit of the Nigerian Police Force headquartered at the Lagos State secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, witnessed a fire outbreak yesterday morning. The fire began when one of the power distribution boxes in the RRS premises caught fire.

A tweet by the RRS said officers immediately put out the fire before the arrival of firemen from Lagos State Fire Service. “Efforts are in progress to detect and fix the fault. No police officer was hurt,” the tweet read.

“The distribution box located on the first floor of RRS headquarter’s one-storey building caught fire at about 11:30a.m. Officers of the Lagos State Fire Services also assisted in putting out the fire and ensured that the building was safe to continue daily activities. Efforts are in progress to detect and fix the electrical fault.”

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, on Wednesday, told traders in the state to have a central power system to prevent incessant fire outbreaks at markets in the state. Obasa said this when members of the Lagos State chapter of the Market Leaders and Traders Association of Nigeria paid him a courtesy visit.

Obasa’s media aide, Tolani Abati, said in a statement that the speaker said having a common source of power supply was better than owning generating sets individually, which is one of the causes of incessant fire outbreak at markets in the state.


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