Properties worth millions of naira were lost in a fire incident at the Supply and Transport Corps Barracks of the Nigerian Army at Eleyele, Ibadan, Oyo State, on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 23 apartments were burnt in the incident. An eye witness, who said the fire outbreak occurred at about 1.p.m., added that the cause remained unknown.
But one of the victims, Mrs Priscilla Kilyobasi, said the incident could be due to the carelessness of a resident in the barrack who was cooking on a kerosene stove.
“We started seeing smoke coming out from a room on the back row and some people raised an alarm. On entering the room from the back door, we saw a pot on the stove that was completely burnt and had affected the wood walls.
“Sympathisers helped to pour water to contain it, but the fire had started spreading to the other rooms. Some passers-by helped to call the Fire Service officials at the Government Secretariat and they responded with a truck to contain the spread,” she said.
A fire officer at the scene, who pleaded for anonymity, told NAN that his team had to seek for reinforcement from the Eleyele station which deployed two fire trucks.
He, however, said the buildings could not be saved as the structures were made of wood. “We were only able to curtail the fire by soaking nearby rooms with plenty of water,” he said.
Another victim, Samuel Ufot, ruled out the possibility of power surge, claiming there was power outage at the time. “The room where the fire started had a burnt kerosene stove,” he said.
NAN reports that no life was lost in the fire incident while attempts to reach officials of the Army Post Service Housing Scheme, where the structures were located, proved abortive.