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Two die as fire ravages 100 Lekki shanties


The scene of the fire. Inset is a stranded family with kids returning from school ...yesterday

The scene of the fire. Inset is a stranded family with kids returning from school …yesterday

Two yet-to-be identified persons were allegedly killed in an early morning fire that razed over 100 shanties in Kuramo area of Lekki, Lagos. The deceased were simply identified by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) as male and female adults.

Sympathisers were said to have crowded the area where the bodies were allegedly recovered. Residents were seen crying and wailing over the incident, as remains of the two victims were being evacuated. According to residents, the fire started at exactly 3:00 a.m. from one of the wooden houses and later spread to other areas.

Neighbours told newsmen that one of the victims, a woman, was sleeping when the fire spread to her room. They said they heard the wailing of the woman when the fire was raging, but could not break through to rescue her because of the wildness of the fire.

One of the victims, whose house was razed, told newsmen that no one could say exactly what caused the fire. “It started at about 3.00a.m. when we were still sleeping. It was the cry from that room that attracted my attention. The entire compound was razed down before help could come. I was able to save a few of my property because my room was located far away from the source of the fire.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of NEMA, Ibrahim Farinloye, who confirmed the incident, said the mutilated bodies of a man and a woman were recovered at the scene, adding that the wooden houses were basically occupied by Ilaje and Ijaw indigenes.

“The fire started overnight. It destroyed so many wooden houses. Only two bodies were recovered from the scene. Though the cause of fire has not been ascertained but preliminary investigation revealed that it was caused by carelessness on the part of the occupants,” he added.

The Managing Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Razaq Fadipe, said: “The shanties spread to about four plots of land. We got information that the fire started at about 3:15a.m. Information we got was that a young lady was cooking in one of the shanties and there was a fuel container nearby, which ignited the fire and spread to other parts.

“It took us about four hours to put out the fire. My men did not know there was anybody inside while they were fighting the fire. We met the man and woman in two different locations roasted after we finally put out the fire,’’ Fadipe said.

The director added that the bodies were handed over to police officers from Ilasan Division, who later took them to the mortuary.

According to a resident, a generating set explosion triggered the fire.
He said: “The fire started at about 2:00a.m. after one generating set exploded. The two people that died were sound asleep when the fire started and were already burnt beyond recognition before firefighters quelled the inferno.”

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