Lament and distress trail the Abule Egba pipeline fire outbreak which left the entire Awori area of Lagos awake all night on Tuesday and rendered many people homeless.
Scores of houses including duplexes, storey buildings and bungalows, which had served as homes to many families and offices for businesses outfits were burnt to ashes, leaving the owners with memories of the good past. Families have disintegrated on account of the fire incident as they are split between neighbours and distant family members who now have to bear the task of accommodating the victims.
Sike Lukmon, one of the victims of the night fire, was a pathetic sight. Although she was heavily pregnant, she had to struggle against death on that night.
Sike, who was delivered of a baby two days after the incident, said without money and all their property destroyed, she could not afford delivery at a hospital, hence she delivered her baby in the corner of a burnt building where they are now squatting.
According to her, the only way left for them to escape the fire was to jump over the fence.
She said: “There was noise everywhere and we didn’t even know which direction to run to. There was fire in the other compound, across the road and everywhere. I climbed the fence and fell down three times before I finally succeeded.”
Sike is a petty trader who, according to her, managed to save some money to buy some things in readiness for her expected baby, but everything she bought went with the fire. Her goods too were burnt to ashes.
But she held unto her new baby and gave thanks to God as people came to see the miraculous baby delivered without the aid of a midwife. Women from a nearby church were said to have come to her aid at the point delivering the child.
All over the Oko Oba, Abule Egba, the entire back of Tantalizer to Wema bank, the story remains similar, the tears have not stopped flowing. The pains are still fresh and the losses are traumatic memories that haunt the residents that are still hanging around their burnt homes and those that have fled the area in search of succor somewhere else.