Two die, 60 buildings, 15 vehicles perish in Lagos fire

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Two men on Thursday were burnt to death in a fresh fire which ravaged the Ijora Badia and Iwaya, Yaba areas of Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro learnt that while the two victims, identified as John and Yaro, died in the Ijora inferno, no life was lost to the Iwaya incident.

The Iwaya fire, however, claimed 35 shops and shanties, while no fewer than 18 vehicles were burnt. It was said 25 buildings were razed in the Ijora fire.

Our correspondent gathered that the fire incident in both areas occurred at about 1am on Thursday and lasted till about 6am.

When PUNCH Metro visited Ijora Badia, it was learnt that the two victims were both transport workers, who had come to pass the night in one of the razed apartments.

Our correspondent observed that the bodies were put in two separate wooden boxes, while relatives and friends crowded the scene.

Twenty seven-year-old John was said to be from the South East, while Yaro, 32, hailed from Jos, Plateau State. Both deceased did not have their families in the area.

Policemen from the Ijora Badia Division and men of the Lagos State Fire Service were also said to have arrived the area at about 3am to curtail the fire.

One of the affected residents, Mr. Gbenga Ojajuni, who lost a shop and a five-room apartment, told our correspondent that the inferno started from a power surge.

The man, who spoke in Yoruba, said, “We had not had constant electricity in the area for months, but three days ago, the power supply became regular. At about 1am, there was a surge in a shop, and the fire started. Most of us were sleeping.

“By the time we became aware of the incident, several buildings were ablaze.

“We mobilised ourselves and tried to extinguish it. We did not realise that two men were trapped in a room. It was after the fire had gone down, and we were clearing the debris, that we saw them.

“The two men were transport workers, and they were sleeping in the same room. The fire consumed our property and the goods in our shops. As I speak with you, we have nothing left.”

Our correspondent observed some affected residents and shop owners trying to salvage their property from the rubble. The rest were observed lamenting their fate as they watched as smoke billowed from the rubble.

In Iwaya, PUNCH Metro gathered that the inferno razed no fewer than 35 shops and shanties.

Our correspondent also counted 15 burnt vehicles in the area, including a mass transit bus.

The residents were seen wandering in the rubble and recounting their losses.

A man, Mr. Yekini Azeez, told our correspondent that his commercial bus was one of the burnt vehicles, adding that he suspected that the fire incident in Iwaya was the handiwork of some hoodlums.

[/media-credit] Ijora Badia area

The Lagos State police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed the fire incidents and the death.

He added that the police provided the security, while the fire servicemen put out the fire.

He said, “There were cases of fire outbreaks on Thursday in the Ijora Badia and Iwaya areas. Policemen were deployed in the areas to aid the firefighters to extinguish the fire. Two persons were burnt beyond recognition.”

The Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Rasak Fadipe, said his men from the Isolo Division were deployed in the Ijora Badia area to assess the situation.

He said, “When our men from the Isolo Division got to the scene, they met the police from Ijora Badia on ground. They told us that it was makeshift structures that the fire ravaged. So, the police advised us to go back because the fire was already extinguished.

“In Iwaya, there was no life lost, but 17 vehicles were burnt while property worth millions of naira was also razed.”

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