The Nigerian fire service gave a report of its Lagos activities for 2012.
The Federal Fire Service, Lagos State Command, on Sunday said it recorded 188 fire incidents and 18 other emergencies, including collapsed buildings in 2012.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer, Chike Njoku, who made this in Lagos, said that 168 deaths, including the victims of June 3 Dana plane crash, were recorded, while 48 lives were rescued.
“In December alone, we recorded 27 incidents of fire outbreak, the highest in one month during the year within the Lagos metropolis. Many people were so carefree about their safety during the yuletide,” Mr. Njoku said.
The spokesman said that within the same period, 16 false alarms were recorded, adding that the false alarms were made both with good and bad intentions. He said the causes of the fire included fireworks, candle light, storage of petroleum products wrongly, and other human carelessness.
He also blamed fuel scarcity experienced during the year, which made people to store fuel in their homes and wrong places, for the fire incidents.
“We attended to more fire incidents in 2012 than the previous years, particularly toward the end of the year. The fire incidents happened in private homes, public buildings, warehouses, sawmills and fuel tankers,’’ he said.
The spokesman said that the service had carried out enlightenment campaigns among the populace and in the schools on fire prevention.
He said that six of their officers sustained various degrees of injuries, including broken knee during the cause of their duties, adding that one of the victims was still receiving treatment.
He said within the same period, 25 persons and organisations obtained fire reports from the service to process their insurance claims.
Mr. Njoku said that the Federal Fire Service Training School, Ojuelegba, trained 450 persons, including the employees of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2012.
He expressed worries over the incessant attacks on men of the command and their trucks by suspected hoodlums for allegedly arriving late at the scenes of fire incident. He said that traffic, lack of hydrant points to refill their tanks with water, and lack of proper direction by the distress callers, were major challenges facing firemen in attending to emergencies.