A filling station station along Aule road in Akure the Ondo state capital has been gutted by fire, destroying property worth millions of naira.

The fire incident, which occurred around 4pm on Monday, left residents of the area in panic as they try to prevent the fire from extending to their houses.

Eye witnesses said the fire started when a petrol tanker was offloading its content into the station’s underground tank.

Mr Abiodun Adelekun who spoke on behalf of youth in the area said they had to come out en masse to ensure the fire was put out to prevent it from spreading to other buildings.

Adelekun said “the fire started when the tanker was offloading its content into the pit (sic). All we heard was a bang and we saw fire everywhere coming out of the tanker”.

“We came out to assist the fire fighters to save our houses. Having petrol stations in clustered areas is not the best. If not for the fire service today and the support of youth from this area, the fire would have escalated beyond control”.

An elder who has a shop beside the filling station and identified himself as Asabari Elelubo said the loud noise he heard when fire started sent shivers down his spine.

“When I heard the loud noise, I nearly fainted. I had to first run to safety. The panic from the fire which caught my shop seven months ago is still in me and it made this more frightening.

“I am glad the fire service and the youth were able to contain it before it extended to surrounding houses” Asabari added.

The public relations officer of the Federal Fire Service, Ondo state command, Ayodele Ajulo, who attributed the fire to the heat in the underground tank advised filling station operators to be extremely careful while offloading fuel from tankers into their underground tanks, especially during this period of extreme heat.

Ajulo said “we always tell people to be extremely cautious during this period. The hot weather makes it easy for fire to erupt from anything inflammable.

“It is important for people, especially filling station operators, to take all necessary precautions and also have enough fire extinguishers around in case of any emergency”.

The fire, which was put out by the combined effort of the Federal Fire Service, Ondo State Fire Service and youth in the area, destroyed the station’s administrative building, dispensing pumps and the petrol tanker but no live was lost.

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