It could have turned sour for the family members of a one-month old baby in Akowonjo area of Lagos State but residents rescued a one-month-old baby while fire razed a building on Adesina Street.
It was gathered that the mother of the baby was sewing in a shop in front of the bungalow when the fire started around 10am.
The mother was reported to have said she smelt something burning, but she could not tell what it was until her neighbours raised the alarm.
It was gathered that the mother rushed out of the shop, as occupants of buildings on the street also came out. She discovered that it was her house that was on fire.
PUNCH Metr gathered that she rushed inside the house and she discovered that many apartments in the building were already on fire with thick smoke billowing from the building.
A resident, Mrs. Grace Balogun, told one of our correspondents that the mother broke into her apartment without a second thought and without any regard to the fire.
She said, “Other neighbours followed her inside and together, they quickly rescued the baby unhurt.”
A middle-aged occupant of the building was seen crying and searching for her eight-year-old son, who was later discovered to have fled the house immediately it was engulfed in flames.
Some of the occupants of the building were seen salvaging their belongings, including generators, guitars and clothes.
Some of the salvaged materials were kept inside a parish of a church close to the scene.
The fire raged as sympathisers struggled to put it out without water because there was no electricity to pump water from a borehole close to the building.
Owners of other buildings on the adjoining streets were seen making holes in their fences to pass water hose to the scene to help in putting out the fire.
Some angry residents wanted to attack officials of the Lagos State Fire Service, the Lagos State Emegency Management Agency and the Lagos State Neighbouhood Safety Corps, who came to fight the fire, for alleged slow response to their distress calls.
However, some of the residents persuaded the angry ones to allow the firefighters to work.
One of the residents, who identified himself as Kamar, told one of our correspondents that a 10-year-old boy caused the fire.
He said, “One small boy, I think they call him Precious, struck a matchstick to warm food on a gas cooker and he dropped the smouldering matchstick carelessly close to their mattress. The mattress caught fire and the fire spread to other parts of the room from where it spread to other apartments.
“We called firefighters on 112, but they could not access the scene because the road leading to the street was closed.
“Three fire trucks eventually came and the firefighters put out the fire. We thank God that the fire did not spread to a telecoms base station close to the building. Fuel was kept at the base station and the situation would have been worse if it had spread to that place.”
The Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Rasak Fadipe, confirmed the incident, saying the Ikotun fire station responded.
He said, “The building contains four mini-flats. The entire structure was consumed by the fire. We gathered that a child was cooking in a room and in the course of doing that, the fire caught some combustible materials, which started the inferno.
“It is important to state that this is the harmatthan season, when there is dryness, wind and dust, which are elements of fire. People should be careful and avoid the use of candles or cooking in the room to avert any fire incident.
“Also, due to the nature of this period, residents are encouraged to always call the fire service whenever there is any fire incident before it gets out of hands. We also want to urge our politicians giving out empowerment tools to be well guided. They can give out rechargeable lamps and torches, which pose no risks in order to reduce fire incidents in the state.”
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )