A fire that gutted a shopping complex on Awolowo Way, Ikeja, Lagos on Sunday, killed a journalist and his young son. It was gathered that Akinwunmi Dickson and his son Nelson, 12, were asleep in an office in the complex when the incident happened around 5 am.
According to an eyewitness, Wasiu Hamsat, who spoke to PUNCH, the 50-year-old, who published a brand magazine, Brand Campaign, and his son were choked to death by the smoke of the fire.
“I was asleep when I heard a noise around 5 am. People were shouting that a building was on fire. We quickly called the fire service. When they did not show up on time, people were forced to break into the shop which was on fire. That was around 6 am. But the smoke was much and nobody could enter. It was the smoke that killed the journalist and his son because the fire did not gut his office.
“At times, if there was traffic, he usually slept in the office with his child. No one knew he was inside the office because everybody was busy finding a way to put out the fire. Before we knew they were there, it was too late. They had struggled to open the door, but could not see anything because the smoke was much. In fact, people found them dead at the back entrance to his office.”
Another resident and witness, Busayo Adebanjo, said one of the air conditioners of a boutique in the complex caused the fire.“The fire started inside a boutique. One of the boutique’s air conditioners that had fault caused the fire. The owner of the boutique had travelled, so one of his boys switched on the air conditioner.
“It was that air conditioner that caused the fire and since there was no one inside, it was not easy to break into the office to put out the fire. Immediately the fire started, the state fire service was called, but the officials did not come early. Before they came to put out the fire, it had damaged many goods inside the shop.”