Over 100 Homes Were Destroyed In the Fire Started By A Candle Light In Ebute Metta, Lagos Yesterday

5 years ago by: Daniel Bosai
-- (m) at 12-05-2015 05:20AM

(18889 | Hero)

No fewer than 300 people, mostly women and children, were displaced yesterday as fire razed about 100 dwellings in swampy Otumara, Ebute Metta West, in Lagos.



Before the inferno, attributed to candle light and fuel, which occurred around 3am, the affected structures served both commercial and residential purposes for the occupants.

An eyewitness attributed the inferno to carelessness on the part of two residents, who were neighbours.

The eyewitness, Madam Sherifat Hassan, said the fire started when one of the occupants lit a candle and slept off.

His neighbour was transferring Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, from one power generating set to another, unknown to him that there was a naked light nearby.

No life was lost in the inferno, which was later contained by Lagos State fire fighters.

When Vanguard arrived the swampy area yesterday, some of the victims had taken shelter under Ijora Flyover Bridge.

Victims’ story
A mother of five, Mariam Sharafa, said she operated a salon business and did not envisage the fire before she went to bed the previous night.

She said: “I was fast asleep with my five children when the alarm was raised and we rushed out. I could only save my children as all my belongings were consumed by fire.”

A petty trader, Rukayat Semiu, said she could only rescue her three children while her belongings got burnt.
She said: “Many of us moved to this place due to high house rent in other parts of Lagos, but the inferno has reduced us to ordinary citizens once again.”

Other displaced victims were seen gathering the remains of their property, while they said life in their current abode was quite affordable, compared to other parts of Lagos.

Rent
They said it costs a monthly rental fee of between N2,500 and N4,000 per structure, compared with what goes on in other parts of the state.

In a chat with Vanguard, Director of Lagos State Fire Services, Razaq Fadipe, condemned the use of candles for domestic use, but advised people to go for rechargeable lamps in place of candles.

He said: “There are rechargeable lamps, which are affordable. We should go for these instead of endangering our lives by burning candles.”

Fadipe said two fire trucks were used to combat the inferno.


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