Residents of Shasha community in Ibadan and some areas in Iseyin were in confusion in the late hours of Monday and early hours of Tuesday due to fire outbreak.
About 30 shops went up in flames around 4:30am with several items destroyed on Tuesday morning while items worth several millions of naira were lost to the fire at Bovas Filling Station in Iseyin, on Monday night.
According to Oyoreporters, the fire at the filling station emanated from a tanker that was discharging fuel at the station.
Oyo Reporters learnt that the accident originated from a spark from the tanker.
Before the arrival of firemen, workers at the station and those in the neighbourhood made frantic efforts to combat the fire. Timely arrival of the fire fighters curtailed further spread of the fire beyond the filling station.
A resident, Ajani Luqmon, said but for the timely intervention by the people in the neighbourhood and the officials of the state fire service, the story would have been worse.
He said, “The fire which started as a result of a spark that happened while the tanker was offloading. The fire was battled by the combined efforts of the staff, sympathizers and the men of the state fire service.”
The state Chief Fire Officer, Oyo State Fire Service, Mr Moshood Adewuyi, who confirmed the incidents, said, “The fire outbreak at the filling station happened around after 6pm on Monday while a tanker was discharging its content. We thank God that it was just in adjacent direction, about 400metres away from the affected filling station.
The vehicle was still heavily laden with its content but thank God, the situation was saved.
“The canopy of the filling station and part of the office within the premises, as well as a part of the tanker was torched.”
On the market fire outbreak, Adewuyi said, “We were called around 4:25am that the market was on fire. Our station at the Oyo State Secretariat responded to the emergency. About 30 shops were razed. We heard that the incident happened when electricity supply was restored in the area in the early hours of Tuesday. Shasha is a fruit and vegetable market, so the heaps of baskets that were kept at the place fuelled the fire.”
He warned that as the harmattan sets in the people should be more careful so as to forestall incessant fire outbreaks. “We must ensure that before leaving our homes and places of work, all appliances are disconnected to prevent electricity sparks.
“It is wrong to take telephone sets into the kitchen; don’t spray insecticide while cooking, don’t make calls when buying fuel at the filling station. Little children should not have access to combustible materials and those living close to the bush should weed off the surrounding bush up to six feet from the feet of their houses to prevent fire outbreak that may result from bush burning,” he said.