By Bose Adelaja & Monsuru Olowoopejo
Lagos—Tragedy struck, yesterday in Lagos, as a 7-year-old boy was burnt to death in an inferno that engulfed a two-storey building at the Lagos State Property Development Corporation Housing Estate, popularly called the Ijaiye Low Cost Housing Estate, Agege Local Government, Lagos.
Also, a storey building at 24, Glover Road, lkoyi and 42 shops at Ojodu Market, Ojodu, Local Council Development Area, LCDA, Lagos State were razed over the weekend, leaving property worth millions of Naira destroyed.
The deceased identified simply as Sulaimon, was said to be sleeping with five other members of the family at block 68, flat 5/6, of the housing estate, when the fire started.
The cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained, but eyewitness said that it started at about 2:20 a.m, from the victims’ apartment before spreading to other flats.
Sources said effort by the deceased, who came to spend the holiday with the family, to escape with others proved abortive, as the house was already engulfed before he woke up.
Vanguard learnt that the family, while trying to escape from the building sustained varying degrees of injury and have been admitted at the Blue Cross hospital, Ogba, Ikeja.
Confirming the development, the Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Mr. Rasak Fadipe said that was one of the distress calls they received and attended to in the state at the weekend.
Fadipe explained; “We received the distress call at about 2:20 am. And immediately the fire truck in Agege was dispersed to the scene to put out the fire.
“When we arrived at the scene, we realised that the occupants of the building were sleeping when the fire started. At this time, they were trapped. We had to break the wall to rescue them.
“We were able to rescue the family of five from the building but one of them was already dead. A boy of about seven years.
“On Saturday, there was also a fire disaster at Ikoyi. It consumed a duplex, which we were told belong to the Macaulay Family.
Fadipe said that the occupants failed to make the distress call early, resulting into a huge loss of property.
His words, “Even at the time we arrived at the scene, we would have been able to put out the raging fire quickly but due to the inflammable materials, air conditioner, refrigerators and others, we could not.
“On Friday, at 22:54 pm, there was a fire outbreak at Ojodu, where 42 shops were razed. The fire was put out by a joint team from Lagos and Ogun states fire service. Some of the traders were still in the market. This was how we got the information and we responded promptly.”