At least 20 vehicles were razed as fire broke out at the warehouse of the Nigeria Customs Service of the Federal Operations Unit, Ikeja, Lagos.
According to The Punch, the vehicles destroyed include six articulated vehicles, 12 cars and two minibuses.
Firefighters from the Lagos State Fire Service and men of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency fought to curtail the spread of the fire whixh started around 2pm.
The exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained because while authorities at the customs service said the fire started after the gas cylinder of an impounded truck exploded, one of the emergency workers said it was caused by bush burning.
The spokesperson for the NCS, FOU Ikeja, Jerry Attah, said three vehicles were burnt, adding that no life was lost or injury sustained.
He said, “A section of the constructed annex warehouse was gutted by fire. It is not our main warehouse. There were two trucks that had been there for a long time. The trucks had gas cylinders which usually come with them. The fact that they had been there for a long time, coupled with the heat of the season, made one of them to explode. When it exploded, the fire spread. But we called in the state fire service and LASEMA. The fire was put out at 3pm. Only one truck and two cars were burnt.”
However, one of the emergency workers at the scene said the fire started due to bush burning activities around the place where the vehicles were parked.
He said, “We discovered that some people were burning bush around the warehouse and that was what started the inferno. No life was lost and no injury sustained.”
The Director of the state fire service, Rasak Fadipe, said the agency deployed three water trucks from the Alausa, Ikeja and Ilupeju fire stations.
He said, “When we received the alert, we activated our emergency response plan and deployed firefighters in the scene. We had seen the fire from our office and with the support of our sister agency, LASEMA, we did not allow the fire to go beyond where we met it.
“The fire, however, destroyed six articulated vehicles, 12 cars and two minibuses. There were many vehicles in the warehouse. We worked tirelessly to prevent the fire from spreading to other vehicles. If not for our prompt response, the damage would have been more.”
The General Manager of LASEMA, Adeshina Tiamiyu, said the agency’s officials joined in putting out the fire, adding that 18 vehicles – 12 cars and six trucks – were gutted by fire.
Tiamiyu noted that LASEMA would work with the customs service to investigate the cause of the fire to forestall a recurrence.