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Fire ravages Lagos jungle city, Ajegunle

Posted by By TESSY OKOYE and MATTEW DIKE on 2008/02/02 | Views: 507 |

Fire ravages Lagos jungle city, Ajegunle


A monumental tragedy rocked Ajegunle in the Ajeromi/Ifelodu Local Government Area of Lagos at the weekend, as two persons were reportedly killed in two separate fire incidents while hundred of people were displaced and properties running into millions of naira destroyed.

•2 dead, 7 kids missing, 35 houses burnt

A monumental tragedy rocked Ajegunle in the Ajeromi/Ifelodu Local Government Area of Lagos at the weekend, as two persons were reportedly killed in two separate fire incidents while hundred of people were displaced and properties running into millions of naira destroyed.

This would bring to three the number of fire incidents in Ajegunle in the last 48 hours.

The first fire was said to have started at about 2p.m. on Sunday at Pako Estate, a densely populated area and raged on till the early hours of Monday. By the time the fire was finally put out by spirited efforts of residents, 35 buildings and hundreds of shanties were razed to the ground.

Though there were different versions to the actual cause of the fire, the one actually making the rounds was that it was started by a man trying to refuel a running generating set. The flame was said to have spread fast licking everything in its path, as most of the structures were shanties, built with wood and corrugated iron sheets. Help could not also get to the scene of the fire on time as the houses were built too closely with no road for fire fighters to gain access to the scene.
Seven kids were declared missing, and properties were looted by social miscreants who besieged the area.

A woman, who identified herself as Iya Shaki, a trader who refused to be consoled said all her family’s belongings were destroyed by the inferno, while her two-year-old son, Alao, was among the seven missing children.
“I did not remove anything from the house. I am finished. My son, Alao is missing. If I don’t see him, I will die,” she cried.

Another man told Daily Sun that he lost his only son, Jamiu, a year-old in the ensuing confusion.
“My wife was not around, I kept my son somewhere to remove load from my apartment, when I came back, I did not see him again,” he lamented

The second fire which claimed two lives in Arowoya Street started at about 9p.m. same Sunday and was alleged to have been caused by a woman whose husband parked three motorcycles and a generating set in their apartment.

The woman, identified as Mrs. Ukeh, Daily Sun gathered died in the hospital due to first degree burns sustained in the inferno. While the second victim, identified as Chibuzo Ukeh, 4, the woman’s child later gave up the ghost after attempts to save him failed. The life of the smallest member of the family is still said to be hanging on the balance.

Ikechukwu Ukeh, son of the deceased woman said his mother was pouring kerosene into a lighted lantern when it exploded. He disclosed that his mother and sibling were burnt beyond recognition before help could get to them. Chibuzor said he was able to escape because he was standing at the door and ran out immediately to get help.

Chief Olanipekun, an AC chieftain, who also suffered huge loss in the carnage appealed for government’s presence to be felt in the area. He noted that there has been a re-occurring fire and flood incidents in the area due to haphazard and unplanned nature of the place.
“Such incident would always happen because of the lawless nature of the place. Houses have been built on access road and drainage. Fire fighters had difficulty in getting to this place that was why the loss was much,” he said.

As at the time Daily Sun left the scene of the two fire incidents, palpable gloom hung in the air. People were seen rummaging through the smouldering ruins for what could still be salvaged from their property, while affected residents were hanging around with misty eyes and discussing their fate in low tones.

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