Chiemelie Ezeobi

Students of Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech), Lagos, wednesday escaped death as early morning fire destroyed about 25 rooms on the first floor of the female hostel located inside the school.

The affected hostel, a two-storey building known as Bakassi, was solely occupied by female students of the institution.

Four female students of the institution however escaped death by the whiskers in the fire outbreak which gutted property worth millions of naira.

While some students also sustained varying degrees of injuries in the confusion that followed the fire outbreak, others almost suffocated to death according to eyewitness.

One of the affected students said the incident was actually caused by fumes from a faulty generating set belonging to one of the students.

The student who identified herself as Funmilayo Olusegun, said: “There was power outage in the morning. Some of us normally switch on the generator by 5a.m. to prepare for classes.

“Suddenly, there was an outcry from one of the students who raised the fire alarm. A colleague whose room was very close to where the generator was located was the one who first noticed a spark but initially ignored it. There was stampede when the second girl raised the alarm.”

It was also gathered that the second spark was noticed during the stampede and that that resulted in the fire which razed the entire floor.

THISDAY gathered that some of the students on the affected floor attempted to salvage what was left of their property, but couldn’t.

Some male students even attempted to put out the fire using water while those with fire extinguisher, tried to quench it from the ground floor.

When THISDAY visited the scene, officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), those from the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) as well as officials of the federal and state fire services and policemen were on ground to salvage the situation.