Thousands of Lagosians on Monday defied the social distancing order as they rushed out to support firefighters in battling a fire that destroyed goods worth millions of naira at a filling station and nearby car mart.
No fewer than 10 cars on display for sale at the mart and a significant part of the building of the filling station have been completely razed down.
The filling station, named Tybod but rẹnamed NNPC a few years ago, is located on Kayode Street, off College Road, Ogba.
According to an eyewitness who identified himself simply as Kingsley, the fire started from a tanker that was attempting to discharge diesel into one of the station’s tanks.
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Mr Kingsley, who owns a shop where he sells power generating sets near the station, said he could not tell whether the fire was ignited through a technical fault from the tanker.
He said the fire broke out at about 12 noon and that he had traced the smoke to the location before the crowd of people started trooping in.
“This crowd you see here has saved so many lives here. They broke into the car mart in spite of the fire to drive out the cars that were not yet touched,” he said.
A firefighter with the National Petroleum Investment Services (NAPIMS), who declined to identify himself, said he could not comment on the source of the fire.
He, however, said after more than five firefighting tankers loaded with water by firefighting agencies of the state and federal governments had exhausted their contents, there was need to look elsewhere for water.
As of 3:30 p.m, the fire was yet to be quenched as firefighters and emergency officials from the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS), Neighbourhood Watch team, and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) continued to fight it.