The Lagos State Government at the weekend said it has lost property worth N39.6 billion to fire in the state in the last one year. The Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Oyinlomo Danmole, who disclosed this to journalists at a news conference held in Alausa, said the state government also saved properties worth N390 billion.
According to Danmole, the Lagos State Fire Services received a total of 2,342 calls, out of which 1,731 were fire calls and were promptly responded to. The commissioner added that the fire service received 103 rescue calls, seven collapsed building calls, 458 false calls while 41 victims were rescued, adding that 10 collapsed building were recorded in the last one year. “The fire service has undergone various transformations, which have enhanced its operational capabilities and capacity to effectively curtail incidents of fire outbreaks and related emergencies in the state.
A total of 2, 342 calls were received and promptly responded to in the last one year,” he said. Speaking on naturalisation of aliens/special immigrant status, the commissioner said 29 applications were received for both naturalisation and special immigrant status in the last one year. Danmole said that 23 applicants of the lots appeared for interview all of which were eventually recommended to the Ministry of Interior for ratification.
“The state government has given its support to the new passport office recently commissioned at Ikeja Central Business District. The office was provided with furniture, air conditioners, a generating set and a utility van. This gesture was done to quicken the commencement of operation in the new passport office and reduce the inconvenience of Lagosians travelling to Ikoyi or Festac to obtain travelling passport. “A purchase order for firemen protective apparels such as cork helmet, safety boots, and fire protective suits, among others, to ensure maximum protection for the firemen while performing their duties were ordered.
“Acquisition of 118 complete set of breathing apparatus and 11 compressor machines to enable firemen to work in a smoke-laden environment where the available air does not support life were acquired. The compressor machines are for the refilling of the used breathing apparatus cylinders,” he explained. The commissioner said that the government also procured thermal image camera to help locate trap victims and detect the primary source of fire during fire fighting operation as well as the provision of new operational and ceremonial uniforms to all officers of the fire service to enhance the image of the staff and boost their self-esteem.
He lamented that indiscriminate on-road parking in residential areas often impede the operation of fire services and called for the removal of street gates which prevents quick access to disaster areas as well as yielding of right of way to fire vehicles by motorists, especially during peak hours. Danmole said the fire service officers were often faced with unsolicited and violent interference by hoodlums during fire fighting operations, saying the trend resulted in damages to equipment at various times.
“The overwhelming interference sometimes resulted into escalation of fire disaster as the trained officers will not be able to attack the fire from the source while the hose is being dragged from the officers. “There should be the provision of clear and vivid description of fire disaster location by callers. There is need to eradicate false fire calls to stem the trend of wasting human and material resources that would have been reserved for use in fighting real fire disaster. Attack on fire officers and willful damage to fire -fighting equipment should stop.”