50 houses razed, 60 families displaced in Lagos slum fire

AFP – A fire has ripped through a slum in Nigeria’s largest city, razing some 50 makeshift houses and several sawmills in the second major blaze in recent weeks, an emergency official said Wednesday.

Residents tried to extinguish the flames with buckets of water

Residents tried to extinguish the flames with buckets of water. Photo: Sky news

No one was reported killed or injured in the fire in Lagos on Tuesday evening, though some 60 families have been displaced.

“Some 50 houses built with (wooden) planks and several sawmills burnt in the Okobaba area of Ebute-Meta,” Ibrahim Farinloye of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) told AFP.

He said “an electric spark” from Nigeria’s poorly maintained public power supply system was believed to have caused the blaze which lasted for two hours before it could be put out.

“Nobody was either killed or injured, but many people have been rendered homeless following the incident,” he said.

“We have some 60 families that have been displaced and NEMA is trying to assist them with relief materials.”

The blaze came just two weeks after an explosion of a warehouse storing fireworks and resulting fire destroyed 10 buildings, left one person dead and injured 40 others in the city.

Lagos is considered Africa’s second-largest city after Cairo, with some 15 million people. Fires are common in Nigeria during the dry season.

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