At least five vehicles were burnt this morning after fire gutted Mobil petrol station on Oba Akran Avenue/Akilo Road, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria. Eyewitnesses said fire engulfed the petrol station after an oil tanker trying to discharge fuel spilled its content and it caught fire. The incident paralysed traffic for several hours around Ogba, Agege and Ikeja. Huge balls of fire were seen while thick smoke billowed into the atmosphere for over three hours as fire fighters battled to put out the fire to no avail. The station was completely burnt.
The incident happened hours after another fire disaster occurred at the Generator House of the Christ Embassy Church, Oregun area of the state.
The fire at Mobil filling station started around 6:05 a.m. when an oil tanker, fully loaded with petrol was trying to gain access into the filling station to empty its content, but the queue formed by motorists waiting to buy fuel as a result of the scarcity did not give the tanker driver enough room to enter the station.
As the driver of the tanker was trying to enter the filling station, the truck hit a metal object that punctured the tanker, which spilled its content and it immediately exploded and caught fire. Five vehicles on queue to buy fuel were completely burnt by the inferno, but no life was loss as their occupants escaped to safety. The fire at Mobil Filling station led to massive traffic gridlock in Ikeja, Ogba and Agege as motorists had harrowing experience, while many got to their places of work very late after being caught in traffic for hours.
In Agege, there was heavy traffic gridlock on Oba Ogunji inward Ijaiye Road, which extended to Ogba as motorists trying to flee from the fire incident at the Mobil filling station contributed to paralysing traffic at Ogba. Traffic on Oba Akran was massive as it was brought to a near halt. Motorists spent hours trying to get out of the area, while Akilo Road, Acme Road and other adjoining roads were completely blocked as a result of the inferno. WEMPCO Road was also blocked by heavy traffic for several hours. Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Mr. Rasak Fadipe told P.M.NEWS that “the fire spread and burnt five vehicles and several electric poles. One of the burning poles fell on a man and wounded him seriously. He was taken to the hospital by the Lagos State Ambulance Services. We are advising Lagosians not to crowd around scenes of fire disasters for safety purpose,” he said.
Fadipe said his men got to the scene on time with five fire trucks with each carrying 10,000 litres of water from five of its fire stations, such as Ilupeju, Ikeja, Agege and Isolo, saying that the water was mixed with chemical to quell the fire as ordinary water could not quell the fire of such magnitude.
Spokesperson, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, said “a massive fire outbreak occurred at Mobil Filling Station at the Oba Akran junction. It started around 6:05 am this morning which began with a tanker loaded with 33,000 litres of fuel and was trying to enter the filling station but vehicles on queue did not allow it free access and in the process, an iron punctured the tanker leading to the fire. One person was injured by a PHCN pole that fell down on person due to the fire affected the pole,” he explained.
General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu said “the state’s emergency response was activated immediately and the first response team is on ground to battle the fire. Yesterday, properties worth millions of naira were destroyed as the Generator House of the Christ Embassy Church on Oregun Road was gutted by fire. The fire started around 6:20 pm, with men of the Lagos State Fire Service racing to the scene to quell the fire before it wreaked further havoc. Director, Lagos State Fire Services, Fadipe said there were 14 generators in the room and that they were all burnt. In the last one week, over 15 cases of fire disasters have been reported across the Lagos metropolis, with properties estimated in millions of naira were consumed by the fire.