No fewer than twenty rooms and properties worth millions of Naira were on Monday night razed by a fire outbreak at Wara community in Ilorin West local government area of Kwara state.
The fire outbreak which occurred around 5:30 pm and lasted for hours was believed to have happened on account of a sudden power surge.
The firefighters were seen at the scene of the incident battling the raging inferno as at 8:40 pm.
As learnt too, the fighter truck had returned after exhausting the first water tank it brought to quell the fire.
The affected house belonged to Alhaji Saka Imam, the Alangua of Wara, in Ilorin.
Alanguas in Ilorin are community leaders appointed by the Emir of Ilorin.
Reacting to the incident, Fire service officers after managing to quell the inferno say that the fire was caused by micro electrical jam.
Mr Mohammed Bashir Kazeem, head of fire prevention, Fire Service, Kwara State command spoke to newsmen late Monday night at 10 pm, after putting the fire under control.
According to him, such incident happen when gas leak collides with wave signals from cell phones.
Cooking gas and cell phones are common appliances in many homes in Nigeria.
According to officer Kazeem, 15 out of 16 rooms including shops and home of Alhaji Imam were burnt down.
“We were in the office this evening when we received the call that there was fire outbreak along Airport Road, Egbejila area. Unfortunately the fire already engulfed the building.
“In the course of investigation, we learnt that they were charging phone while a cooking gas was there.
“So when power was restored, the explosion now happened.
“We at the fire service have said times without number that gas is more volatile than petrol.
“Where ever you are using gas, don’t use phones there.
“The phone has no wire but you get connection from all over the world.
“The phone works with waves.
“The gas itself is air, you can’t see it. So by the time the gas is coming out and phone cell wave is coming in, when they jam, it is called Micro electrical jam.
“This causes explosion. That is what caused the fire,” the officer explained.
He also says that this phenomenon is leading cause of fire incident in Kwara according to their report.
Also reacting, the distraught patriarch, Alhaji Imam, said that the incident was sudden and he is yet to come terms with the reality that he doesn’t have a home any more.
“But what I do but to submit to will of Allah,” he said.
As learned, some of the occupiers of the affected rooms were rushed to the hospital after collapsing out of the sheer shock on account of the damage wrought on their property by the fire.
As early morning of Tuesday, prominent community leaders have begun reaching out to people and government for help to sustain the affected victims.
Mr Ridwan Opakunle, youth leader and President, Kwara Association of Professional Point of Sales Agent, KAPPSA and Information Technology Professional Association of Nigeria, ITPAN, described the situation as sad.
“Alhaji Imam is not just an Alangua, he is also a pillar of moral support for the community.
“He has always been there for everybody in the community,” he said.