Billions lost as fire razes warehouses in Lagos

An early morning fire ravaged four warehouses at the Mandilas Bus Stop area of the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Lagos, on Tuesday, destroying goods estimated at billions of naira.

The warehouses were said to have contained paints, air conditioners, foams, plastic materials and other chemical products when the fire started.

Sources said the affected structures belong to some Lebanese and Indian nationals.

Two of the warehouses were identified as Karina International Company and Star Paint Nigeria Limited.

A security officer, Samuel Olawale, said the fire began around 8am.

He said an electrical spark from a junction box started the explosion which gutted the buildings and goods.

He said, “This fire began around 8am, and some of the warehouses here were affected. It started from the junction box and quickly spread to the warehouses because of their proximity to each other. The loss is in billions.”

An Indian worker, Naresh Kumar, said all the factory goods were destroyed.

“We cannot even enter into the place because of the heat. Everything we have there is lost. I can’t figure out the amount, but, it is very huge,” Kumar said.

Another worker, Okechukwu Ekpe, said his company could not be saved because they sold chemicals.

Charred remains of containers littered the warehouse as the fire raged.

Officials of the Lagos State Fire Service, Chi Fire Service, and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, were seen battling the flames.

A motors company beside the affected warehouses, Ashok Leyland, also released its facilities to join in putting out the fire.

The unit head of the Isolo Fire Service, Olusanya Taiwo, said six 10,000 litres of water had been exhausted and more was being deployed.

“When we arrived around few minutes past 8am, the fire was raging. We had to call for the support of other fire stations at Isolo, Ikeja, Ikotun and Ilupeju.

“The fire was aggravated by gas from some split air conditioners in one of the warehouses. But we will not give up on it,” he said.

The few was eventually put off a few hours later but the damage to goods and property was total.