Property worth millions of Naira were, today, lost when an early morning fire engulfed Block 257, Flats 5&6, Amuwo Odofin Estate, Mile 2 in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State. Residents were thrown into frenzy as thick smoke suddenly covered the air, forcing many of them to trace the smoke to the two story block which flats five and six on the second floor were already blazing.
Residents watched helplessly as the fire consumed the last floor of the building because personnel of the Lagos State Fire Service were nowhere to be found.
When our correspondent got to the scene of the incident, residents were seen throwing sachets of water into the raging inferno so as to quench it or even see if such efforts could abate the inferno, but all was to no avail.
As the fire raged, people prayed to God to spare the next floor and the adjoining buildings. After the fire had blazed for about 40 minutes, part of the building caved in and collapsed.
At this point, some residents who had fire extinguishers in their homes gave them out to fight the raging fire. The extinguishers were deployed to quench splinters of fire that fell off the topmost floor when it caved into the devastating effect of the inferno
For almost one hour, residents waited for the Fire Service officials, watching apprehensively until the entire second floor was consumed by the inferno.
Officials of the State Fire Service arrived at 8:40am when flat 5 from where the fire allegedly started had been completely consumed.
The enraged residents almost descended on the firemen for their late arrival but for the quick intervention of some elders, they were allowed to commence work immediately.
According to an angry resident, identified as Bolaji, if the fire service personnel had responded when they were contacted, one or two things could have been rescued from the inferno. We called them as soon as this fire started by they kept telling us that they were coming until now that the two flats have been completely destroyed. As you can see, nothing; not even a pin was removed from the two flats, he said.
However, but for the fire service officials, the second floor and possibly, the adjoining buildings could have also been affected.
One wing of the last floor had been consumed completely before their arrival. They battled to save the second wing which was raging at their arrival as well as the middle floor and other adjoining buildings. At last, the fire was totally brought under control but the two flats were completely destroyed with no single property rescued.
Although, no life was lost, occupants of the two flats and their family members were rendered homeless even as they lost everything they had laboured for over the years to the incident.
According to a witness, the cause of the inferno was traced to sudden power surge.
“The Baba who lived in Flat 5, where the fire started, said he was in his room charging his phone when he heard, ‘ fire, fire.’ He said he left his phone and ran out of his room into the sitting room only to behold thick smoke from the children’s room. He said he couldn’t even go back to get his phone because, the smoke was almost going to overwhelm him, so he ran out. Not even a pin was rescued in his flat and the opposite flat. His wife even had sprain on her knee cap as she fell down while trying to escape from the surging inferno,” a resident volunteered.
Investigation further revealed that power has been fluctuating in the area for some days before the incident.