A wave of fire incidents swept through parts of Lagos between Thursday and Friday destroying shops, warehouses and residential buildings at Marina, Ilasamaja and Kirikiri areas of the state.
The Marina fire, which started at about 4am on Friday, destroyed a row of shops stocked with clothes at the popular Mandilas building in Lagos Island before it spread to other adjoining shops as the Lagos State Fire Service men battled to put it out.
At least 10 shops constructed with a combination of metals and planks were destroyed in the fire.
The Kirikiri fire began from a warehouse stocked with large tyres and tubes meant for articulated vehicles.
According to the Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Mr. Rasaq Fadipe, three warehouses were destroyed in the incident.
He said, ?Our men started fighting the fire since Thursday afternoon and are still there right now (as of Friday morning). You know tyre is made with petrochemicals which make them fuel on their own.
?The tyres were stacked and stored in such a way that there was no ventilation at all in the three warehouses destroyed. The rooms were packed tight and there were no window.
?We believe that the fire might have broken out when excessive heat was generated as a result of the absence of ventilation in the warehouses.?
It was learnt that the fire at Ilasamaja started at about 1.35 am on Friday, destroying 20 apartments made up of 12 rooms and eight adjoining quarters on 3, Adegbite Street.
One of the tenants living in the house, Obi Christopher, said he lost all his belongings including certificates and other vital documents.
He said, ?I was not around when the fire started; it was my brother who called to inform me about the incident. When I got home and saw the fire. I was heartbroken. I have yet to get over the shock. I lost all my properties including all my documents and cash.?
Damilola, one of the children of the landlord, Mr. Adekunle Olaniyan, told newsmen that the situation could have been salvaged had the fire service responded promptly and well prepared. She confirmed that nothing could be saved from the entire building.
?Around 2:00am when we noticed the fire, we called the fire service through the emergency number but it took a while before they came. When the first truck came, there was no water inside it. It was later another truck came from Daleko but it had only little water inside it.
?We could not save even a pin. We lost everything. But if the fire service had responded quickly, we could have saved some of our belongings. We are pleading to the government to please help us because we don?t have anywhere else to lay our heads,? she added.
The fire incidents came three days after a similar incident broke out at the popular Balogun market in which no fewer than four people were said to have died.
Asked what strategies were being put in place to prevent recurrence, Fadipe said residents should take advantage of the emergency numbers, 767 and 112 in case of any outbreak.
He said, ?We will respond at any time of the day. The state government has provided us with 32 new digitalised fire equipment which include two area ladders that can fight fire in a building as high as 13 floors.
?You must understand that as a result of the harmattan, there is likelihood of fire incidents but we are prepared for any emergency.
?The Lagos State Government has embarked on the rehabilitation of fire hydrants in the state, so there will not be any issue of water scarcity. We have enough 10,000-capacity tankers to fight any fire.?