Tragedy struck in the early hours of Monday morning as a devastating gas explosion sparked a fire outbreak, engulfing residential makeshift structures spanning over two acres of land in the Star Road area, near Horizon Heights, Ikate-Elegushi, Lekki, Lagos State.
The incident, believed to have been caused by negligence on the part of the occupants, destroyed properties worth millions of naira.
According to eyewitnesses, the unfortunate event occurred around 11 p.m. on Sunday and continued into the early hours of Monday. Prompt response from the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), and other emergency responders helped contain the raging inferno, preventing its spread to adjacent high-end properties.
During firefighting efforts, responders discovered 62 gas cylinders, which exacerbated the fire’s intensity as they ignited simultaneously. Despite the challenging circumstances, the inferno was successfully extinguished by 1 a.m., with mop-up operations concluding around 3 a.m. for property assessment and enumeration. This process was still underway at the time of reporting.
Among the properties destroyed were makeshift structures, household belongings, cash, and other valuables, resulting in significant financial losses for the affected residents.
Director of the Lagos Fire and Rescue Service, Margaret Adeseye, commended the swift intervention of firemen from the Oniru and Lekki Phase II Fire Stations, emphasizing that their timely response prevented further damage to neighboring properties. Adeseye attributed the cause of the inferno to negligence on the part of the occupants, following a preliminary investigation.
Fortunately, there were no fatalities reported, although two male adults sustained injuries and received medical treatment from the Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS), both of whom were in stable condition.
In light of recent fire incidents, particularly gas explosions, the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, in collaboration with the Lagos State Safety Commission, launched an extensive fire safety awareness campaign. Led by Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Olugbenga Oyerinde, along with Mr. Lanre Mojola, Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, and Director Margaret Adeseye, the campaign aimed to educate traders on fire safety measures, particularly during the Harmattan season.
Adeseye emphasized the importance of vigilance and adherence to safety protocols, highlighting the devastating consequences of negligence. She urged market traders to prioritize safety compliance and foster collective responsibility towards fire prevention, emphasizing the crucial role of promptly reporting emergencies to the state’s toll-free numbers, 767 or 112, to facilitate swift response and minimize property damage and loss of life.