How multiple fire ravaged Osun state

Incidents of fire outbreak in Osun State in recent times remain alarming as many lives have been lost and property worth millions of naira destroyed in different outbreaks. Over the last three months (December to February), over 100 cases of fire outbreak were reported across the state with Ilesa recording the highest occurrence within the period.

Many of the incidents were without casualties except in two different incidents at Modakeke area of the state, however. Many of the victims pleaded with the state government to assist them to re-establish their businesses. The single largest incident of fire outbreak in the state was the inferno that gutted Atakumosa Central Market in Ilesa. Members of the association, who disclosed that goods worth millions of naira were destroyed in the inferno, urged the state government to assist in reducing the effect of the incident on their members.

A victim at the Popo inferno, Lawal Sulaiman, a generator set merchant, said the fire, which razed about 15 shops destroyed property worth millions of Naira and rendered victims helpless. He said the state government is not showing any sign of wanting to help. His words: “I sell generating sets and the fire razed the entire shop destroying everything therein. I don’t even know where to start from. Although government officials came after the incident but they did not show any commitment towards helping to re-establish us.”

 Similarly, on a Sunday afternoon, fire razed a mechanic and furniture workshop and three shops at Ogo Oluwa area of Osogbo, Osun State, destroying property and burning three cars. The inferno also wreaked havoc on three shops and three cars at the mechanic workshop before the timely intervention of the men of the Federal Fire Service. A victim of the furniture workshop fire in Osogbo, Peter Adewale, said he had no means of re-establishing himself without assistance. In his lamentations, Adewale said: “The whole of my life’s savings has been gutted here, we even have customers work razed in the incident. We appeal to the state government to help us to back to our feet,” he said. Also, a late night fire outbreak razed a sawmill at Oke-Omiru area of Ilesa. Although there was no casualty in the incident which lasted almost two hours, but the fire razed a Church located within the sawmill and it took the prompt intervention of fire service operatives to curtail the inferno from affecting a truck loaded with planks. In Modakeke, six storey buildings were gutted by fire, killing a young girl, while another fire claimed the life of a helpless octogenarian.

However, an eyewitness, Jamiu Ganiyu disclosed that the cause of the inferno could not be ascertained but it started around 5pm. “The fire started around 5pm and apart from the six storey buildings that were affected, some other shops were equally affected. Also a little child was burnt in one of the buildings. It is unfortunate that the incident did not get the prompt attention of the fire fighting agency until 7pm and it took over four hours before the fire was put out,” he said.

Govt keeps mum However, attempt to get the reaction of the state Government on measures being taken to curb the incident proved abortive as the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Mr Tajudeen Lawal said he was busy. As at the time of filing this report, the text message sent to his mobile phone had not been replied.

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