A journalist, Akinwunmi Dickson, and his 12-year-old son, Nelson have been killed after fire gutted a shopping complex on Awolowo Way, in the Ikeja area of Lagos State.
The deceased were reportedly asleep in an office in the complex when the incident happened around 5am on Sunday.
An eyewitness, Wasiu Hamsat, who spoke to Punch said the 50-year-old, who was the publisher of a magazine, Brand Campaign, and his son were choked to death by the smoke of the fire, adding that their corpses were found at the entrance of Akinwunmi’s office.
The Lagos State indigene said, “I was asleep when I heard a noise around 5am. 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 6am. 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.”
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,” the 20-year-old said.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, confirmed the incident in a statement, saying the corpses had been taken to a morgue.