Fire, on Monday, gutted a Chinese Company, Yanuo Industry Limited, causing palpable tension on the premises of the company and its environs around ASCON bus stop, along the Lagos Ibadan Expressway, in the Obafemi-Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State.
During a visit to the scene, our correspondent observed some of the company’s workers, alongside residents and passersby scampering to safety as the fire razed the company and burnt property worth millions of naira.
Landlords, residents and business owners whose buildings are situated around the scene were also seen abandoning their homes and shops over fear of the fire escalating beyond the premises of the Chinese company.
One of the factory workers at the company, who spoke with our correspondent but refused to disclose his name over fear of losing his job, said the fire was caused by a spark resulting from a faulty electrical connection.
He said, “I was in the company’s toilet when I heard a loud blast from somewhere around the factory. I learnt some wires sparked and it led to the fire.
“Everybody including the Chinese expatriates evacuated the building before the fire became massive. It was God that saved us that it started from where we were able to escape from. Everybody in the factory was evacuated before the fire become uncontrollable.
“This incident is because of the lackadaisical attitude of the Chinese expatriates we are working for. They are not always concerned about our safety and that is why this kind of incident happened.”
A landlord in the area, Bolaji Oyenekan, whose house is located opposite the factory, said he quickly evacuated his family and some important property in his house to avoid total loss.
He said, “With the way this fire is going, it may spread to some houses close to the place. I have taken the necessary property away from my house to avoid a total loss. I have asked my wife and children to evacuate and you can see I am just watching from a distance.”
As the intensity of the fire increased, onlookers including residents, traders, and passersby, while lamenting over the incident, clustered on the road leading to the company.
Soldiers and policemen were also sighted at the entrance of the company to prevent hoodlums from looting some of the company’s products that were relocated outside the premises.
Efforts by our correspondent to get a reaction from the company were rejected by the soldiers.
In his reaction, the Director, Ogun State Fire Service, Fatai Adefala, said his men were making efforts to put out the fire.
Adefala, however, lamented that the company did not have a fire hydrant that would have made the job of the firefighters easier, adding that no casualty was recorded in the incident.
He said, “We are still there, but there are no casualties. We are doing everything possible to quench the fire.
“We had three trucks there and our officers are presently working to put out the fire. The company did not have a fire hydrant, but we are doing everything to put out the fire.”