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Water scarcity escalates fire incident in Lagos – NEMA

The Lagos zone of the National Emergency Management Agency has attributed the escalation of the fire incident that engulfed four buildings in the Idumota area of the Lagos Island Local Government Area of the state to lack of a water source.


The NEMA State Coordinator, Ibrahim Farinloye, who disclosed this in an interview on Thursday said that the emergency responders were faced with the challenge of water supply that could have aided the effective quelling of the fire, preventing the escalation and the level of damage caused by the fire.

He stressed that there was no water source within proximity of the fire incident, thereby forcing the fire vehicles to go in turn to get water.

Farinloye said, “The major problem we had today was the lack of a water source. We have over 10 firefighting appliances and in the whole of Lagos Island, there is nowhere we can source water. So, each of these firefighting appliances had to go about three to four times to fetch water.

“Julius Berger also had to supply us with 30,000 litres of water. Both the Federal Fire Service and the State Fire Service were on the ground, but there was not enough water.”

While stressing that the Lagos Building Control Agency would assess two of the four buildings affected to determine if they could still be occupied by the traders, the NEMA boss urged the traders to support the government in situating a water source close to the market.

He added, “The traders should be able to help by contributions so that they can drill a borehole or a fire hydrant section close to the market. Also, they should get some people for us who will be trained as fire marshals so that whenever there is a fire incident, these people can quickly attend to the fire. They should also ensure to insure their goods.”

Giving an update on the cause of the fire, the Director of the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, Margaret Adeseye, said poor housekeeping on the part of the traders led to the fire outbreak.

“The root cause of the fire has been determined to be negligence, compounded by the presence of combustible materials within the vicinity.

“The fire quickly spread to neighbouring properties, including houses 47 and 51, where various goods such as decorations and lighters were stored. Prompt action by firefighting teams prevented further escalation and facilitated the extinguishing of the flames.

“The collaborative efforts of multiple agencies, including the Federal Fire Service, NPA Fire Service, LASEMA, LASAMBUS, Nigeria Police Force, LNSC, CBD Men, and Julius Berger, played a pivotal role in navigating the complexities of the situation,” Adeseye said.

The fire razed three buildings at the intersection of Nnamdi Azikiwe and Docemo in Idumota.

Adeseye said, “An update on the fire emergency in Docemo reveals a significant reduction in the intensity of the blaze.

“The affected properties are identified as house numbers 47, 49, and 51.

“Tragically, house number 49 has collapsed due to the fire’s intensity and the close proximity of buildings. Additionally, the fire spread to house number 53.”

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