A total number of 120 people were left homeless as 44 rooms were destroyed on Monday by wild fire in Megida Onikahun compound, Edun Isale in Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara State.
Four elderly people were rescued by neighbours as the fire got wilder which engulfed the traditional building.
The Kwara State Fire Service confirmed that none was injured in the incident as the service team appeared on time to quench the fire. Head of Media and Publicity of the state fire service, Hassan Adekunle, said the fire incident which started from a refuse dump in the morning was attended to around 11:08am by the state firefighters.
According to Adekunle, “The Kwara State Fire Service operatives responded to a fire incident at Megida Onikanhun Compound, Edun Isale, Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara State on Monday, January 15, 2024.
The firefighters, upon arrival, found the entire compound and Edun Market engulfed in flames due to a late call. To enhance firefighting efforts, part of the fence was dismantled for better access.
“At 11:22 am, an assistant message was sent to the Brigade Headquarters for additional manpower, and the proficient firefighters successfully brought the situation under control within an hour before completely extinguishing the fire.
“Investigation revealed that an unknown person had ignited refuse, initially mistaken for harmless smoke. Unfortunately, it had spread to the nearby compound, lamenting that the incident left over 120 occupants homeless, affecting 44 rooms and a mosque in the 75-room Magaji Onikanhun Compound. Fortunately, there were no casualties”, he said.
“The Federal Fire Service and officers from the Department of Disaster Management of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and State Emergency Management Agency were present at the scene. The NSCDC officers ensured crowd control to prevent potential looting, safeguarding both market goods and the firefighters”, he said.
Adekunle said he expressed condolences to Magaji Megida Onikanhun’s representative, Kuranga Adebayo on behalf of the Director of the state Fire Service, Prince Falade Olumuyiwa, after the fire had been put under control.
He said that the director urged the general public to always play safe especially during this period of dry season and not to hesitate to call the fire brigade on time whenever there is any fire emergency in their areas, as this would save lives and property in the state.