There was confusion in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Tuesday as a storey building belonging to an 80-year-old man went up in flames in Ijokodo community around 2:10pm.
The entire top structure was torched with properties worth millions of naira damaged.
The 82-year-old man, Chief Amoo-Onidundu, reportedly built the house in 1978.
It was gathered that the fire incident was caused by a young girl who attempted to lit a gas cooker while her mother was not in the kitchen.
The girl was said to have run out of the house when the fire started. Her mother called for help but attempts by neighbours to put off the fire failed.
When our correspondent got to the scene, a crowd of sympathisers was seen with the owner of the building as firefighters were tried to put off the fire.
The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Seyi Makinde on Better Education Service Delivery For All, Sunday Adeyanju, who was at the scene, said he alerted the Federal Fire Service when he heard of the incident on the radio.
Adeyanju said, “Firefighters from the state and the federal fire service have been battling to quell the fire. About three fire trucks were deployed to arrest the situation. We advise members of the public to be safety conscious and guide against tragedies.”
Pa Amoo-Onidundu, who said he was not in Ibadan at the time of the incident, explained that he was alerted on the telephone.
He said, “I can’t explain how I got to this place to see things myself. I am an old man, where do I begin again at my age? I appeal to the state government to please come to my aid. All I had worked for had been consumed by fire.”
One of the tenants, Johnson Awotoye, said, “I heard a call for help shortly after returning from office. Before we got to know what was happening, smoke was everywhere.
The woman who raised an alarm said she was about to take her bath when she noticed that there was fire in the house. We moved to the kitchen and saw a ball of fire with thick smoke. We recovered an international passport belonging to the landlord.
“I got to this house four months ago. I came from the office at 2:10pm. As I was trying to rest I heard the cry for help. The fire started from the kitchen. We went to the electric source to remove the fuse because there was light at the time.”
Other items that were recovered included photo albums, a voter registration card, and identity cards.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Oyo State Command, Olugbenga Fadeyi, who confirmed the incident, advised members of the public to be more cautious about their safety and security.