Mystery as Iroko tree bursts into flame

Residents of Badagry and its environs watched in awe and trepidation as about 50-year-old Iroko tree went up in flames and burnt for almost 24 hours. The tree, which is at Topo motor park, Badagry, Lagos State, was said to have caught fire on Sunday evening. Nobody could explain how the tree caught fire but many residents blamed the incident on supernatural forces.

Men of the Lagos State Fire Service and other emergency agencies battled the fire with several trucks deployed to the scene, but surprisingly, as they combated the fire with water mixed with chemical, the fire spread to nearby buildings.

A priest reportedly advised the firemen to halt it. “It is strange because the tree that is about 60 meters high generates life and propertythreatening heat yet the leaves are still very fresh, green and intact,” a witness said. The fire, which was put out about 5 p.m. yesterday, caused confusion and attracted several onlookers.

The state Fire Service Director, Rasak Fadipe, said his organisation deployed several trucks from nearby stations. He confirmed that the fire started on Sunday. Also, the South-West spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye, confirmed the incident.

He said: “Firemen are on ground to prevent its spread to the nearby buildings.” “Two branches of the tree burned down but the leaves are as fresh as if nothing has happened.”

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