At least 157 persons died in 1, 932 fire disasters and other emergency developments across Lagos State in the last 15 months.
Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Mr. Oyinlomo Danmole and Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Mr. Rasak Fadipe made this known at the Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja, while rendering the account of activities of the ministry between January 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015.
Oyinlomo added that N23.02 billion worth of property were destroyed, while N138.12 billion properties were recovered from fire disasters recorded during the year under review.
Danmole explained that of the 157 persons reported dead, 137 were recorded in year 2014 while 20 persons died between January 1 and March 31, 2015. 253 persons were rescued from fire disaster in the year under review.
The commissioner noted that in 2011; 79 died, 2012; 215 died and in 2013; 99 died in fire disasters, saying “this brings the cumulative lives lost in the fire disasters recorded in four years and three months (January 1, 2011 and March 31, 2015) to 550.”
He noted that a total of 1, 932 emergency calls, which include fire disaster calls, were received and responded to by the State Fire Service, in the last 15 months, adding “many of which were avoidable.”
A breakdown of the calls showed that the State Fire Service officials responded to 1, 787 fire disasters, 132 rescue calls and the 13 collapsed building. However, no fewer than 370 false calls were made by the residents of the state in the year under review.
Lamenting over the statistics, the commissioner said a lot of Lagos residents still take fire safety percussion for granted, saying: “Many of the fire disasters were due to carelessness. Even the so called elites, they don’t adhere to the preventive measures.”
Oyinlomo added: “And when we realised this, we commenced enlightenment campaign, using different medium. But, it is pathetic that residents of Lagos have failed to make good use of the platforms to learn how to prevent fire and if it occurs, what to do.”
For this, Fadipe said: “The State government began to equip the fire-fighters to record modest success in fire and rescue operations. And during the year, 32 fire-fighting trucks were procured, 30 dragon pumper and snow dragon fire trucks and other equipment were provided.
“Also, two fire stations were constructed, 175 fire hydrant points were constructed to reduce the travel time of fire service officials in getting water. And due to the stress the officials encountered daily in fighting fire, the government decided to increase the hazard allowance of the fire-fighters from N833 to N5, 000 monthly.”