The damaged building
| credits: File copy
A six-year-old boy identified as Abiodun, lost his life after fire razed 11 rooms in a compound located on Ogundele Street in the Ifako, Gbagada area of Lagos State.
The incident was said to have occurred around 9.30pm on Tuesday.
Although the actual cause of fire could not be ascertained as of press time, residents told our correspondent that they believed that the fire was caused by a lighted candle.
When PUNCH Metro visited the scene of the incident on Wednesday afternoon, smoke continued to emanate from some of the burnt items.
Burnt books, beds, doors, televisions and other items littered the area as residents toured the building.
A resident in the compound, whose room was not affected because it was detached from the main building, said the fire started during the premiership football match between Arsenal and Chelsea.
The occupant, Michael Olujimi, said most of them were at a viewing centre when the fire started.
He said, “Most of us were at a viewing centre in the next compound, watching the match when we saw smoke billowing from our compound. We all rushed back but the fire was already intense.
“The youths in the area got buckets of water and tried to douse the flames but it continued to rage. At that point, we did not know that Abiodun was inside one of the rooms because most of us were outside.”
A resident, who did not identify himself, told PUNCH Metro that the little boy’s parents had gone to church while his elder brother did not inform them on time that the deceased was inside the room.
A landlord in the area, Sunday Ogundele stressed the the need for government disaster management agencies to improve on its response time.
He said, “A fire truck from Lagos State Fire Service arrived but they left because there was no water. When the fire was about spreading to another compound, one of my tenants, who works at the Federal Medical Centre, Oyingbo, called the Federal Fire Service which is close to the hospital but they did not come.
“He then had to drive down to Oyingbo to lead them here. They finally came around 11pm and doused the flames but by then, the deed had been done.”
Abiodun was reportedly buried at Atan Cemetery, Yaba.
Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Razaq Fadipe, however, denied the allegations.
He said, “Two fire trucks from Ilupeju and Ikeja with 10,000 litres each responded. They were busy fighting the fire on their own. A journalist and a fireman that live in the area, were the ones that first called our attention to it and we have evidence to show that we responded on time.”