Temple Hill Inferno: Need To Revamp Fire Service As Netizens’ Opinions Suggest It Is Ill-Prepared And Ill-equipped

By Sandra Ijeoma Okoye

It is not an exaggeration to say that the fire incident that razed down Temple Hill Supermarket in Festac Town on Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, has further exposed how ill-prepared and ill-equipped the Federal Fire Service is.

In fact, there is no denying the fact that Nigerians are not adequately protected from fire incidents, and that fire service formations across the country usually fall below people’s expectations whenever they are contacted to quell fire incidents.

The reason for the foregoing view cannot be farfetched as officials of the Federal Fire Service are wont to offer flimsy excuses to the public on why they were unable to successfully fight any given fire incident. Some of the excuses cut across explaining that a mob prevented them from accessing the scene of the incident, and that they received a call about the fire outbreak so late. Not done, they are wont to say that it was not possible to contend with the heavy traffic usually claimed they faced while heading to scene of fire incident, coupled with the behavior of angry mob who they often allege pelted stones at them. As if the foregoing excuses they are known for are not enough, they will most times say their ladders are not long enough or that they do not have enough water in the tank of the Fire Fighting Vehicle. In fact, if the ladders they took to the fire scene are not long enough, it could be that the hose are not long enough. Without resort to haul over the coals on the leadership of the service in this context, it is not an exaggeration to say that it can never be out of place to that time for Nigerians to be urging fire service men to go and tell their stories to the marine whenever they give excuses for being unable to fight any given fire incident across the country has come.

Therefore, it is against the foregoing backdrop that yours sincerely visited Twitter. Facebook, and Naira land, being the top 3 popular social media platforms Nigerians often visit from my own personal observation, to sample the opinions of Netizens. For the sake of clarity in this context, a Netizen is an active participant in the online community of the Internet.

A twitter user with the handle @DI0RDADDY tweeted, “Omo Temple hill supermarket Festac has been burning for an hour + and the @LAG_FireService did absolutely nothing to help save it.

In his reply to @DI0RDADDY, Eddy Lanky tweeted, “They’re literally still not doing anything, I think the first van came with almost an empty tank then waited for over 20mins for backup, now the second is here but isn’t doing much either”. He tweeted again, and said, “This is one of the Best, Biggest and affordable supermarket in Festac. Funny how @LAG_FireService ran out of water”.

On Facebook platform, a user with the name, Anthony Abakporo commented thus, “TEMPLE HILL supermarket is a landmark on 71 Road by 24 Junction Festac Town. The place is a two storey building with goods worth millions in it. Is on fire 🔥 now @ 1am 4th August and the fire service men have come, fought the fire then left because they don't have water.

He lamented, “Someone's investment is burning because of lack of capacity in the fire service department. We need a new Nigeria 🇳🇬. We can't survive like this

Uzor Noble Emeka, also a Facebook user commented, “Nigeria is done on me. Fire service leaving fire to fight wind. Temple Hill Supermarket Festac in rumbles”.

Chris Omeruo who is more detailed and explicit in his post said, “TEMPLE HILL supermarket is a two storey building and a landmark on 71 Road by 24 Junction Festac Town, Lagos. Last night, it was engulfed by fire and goods worth millions of Naira burnt down.

The fire service men who came couldn't succeed in putting out the fire as they left because they didn't have enough water. This is the reality of the Nigeria we live in where nothing works even when taxes are being paid to the government. We need a new Nigeria 🇳🇬”.

Remigius Christian in his post said, “Goods worth millions of naira were burnt as fire razes down Temple Hill supermarket in Festac, Lagos. While trying to curb the situation, unfortunately, the Fire Fighters ran out of supply. According to a source, the fire was caused by an electrical failure which occurred when power was restored……”

Without resort to make this piece boring, it is expedient to opine in this context that, it is not proper for fire service stations to be literarily scattered across our cities without making any meaningful impact in the society. I am therefore through this medium suggesting that the problems bedeviling the fire service sector should be seriously looked into by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, while the Minister of Interior on his own should not rest on his oars in ensuring that the fire service sector is fully revamped.

Sandra Ijeoma Okoye (Author)
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