Nigeria — Danger was yesterday averted at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (M-MA), Lagos when bush fire ignited by unidentified persons gutted part of the airport but was timely stopped by fire fighters before it could spread to the Jet A1 depot located at the international wing of the airport. It took the joint efforts of firemen from the Joint User Hydrant Installation (JUHI) located at the depot and those of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to put off the fire, which reached the fence of the fuel depot. The fire which spread very fast was inflamed by used tyres dumped recklessly at that part of the airport. When THISDAY visited the scene of the fire at 1. 46pm, it was still raging while the firemen were frantically struggling to put it off as heavy, black smoke towered into the air, obstructing the vision of motorists that drove past the area. Fire officials of the joint hydrant clambered to the fence, stretching their hose and even some walked towards the raging inferno that was few metres away from the fence of the depot. While the fire fighters from the hydrant were battling the fire on one side, men of the FAAN fire service were seen battling the fire from another angle with their fire tender with number, E-05 that pushed its way towards the fire. As the bush continues to burn, thick smoke enveloped the whole depot, aviation fuel tankers park , the entire stretch from danfo (yellow buses) park, limousine and NAHCo bus stop. Efforts to get the person that started the fire proved abortive, but those who spoke to THISDAY on condition of anonymity alleged that the fire emanated from bus (danfo) park located near the depot. According to the eyewitnesses, this was the second time fire was gutting that area of the airport in recent time, recalling that the place was set ablaze in 2008. Meanwhile, a FAAN official who refused to disclose his name who was at the scene said that bush burning was bound to happen, explaining that the whole area from where the yellow danfo park to where the tanker drivers park theirs was not properly organised . He lamented that some people use that area illegally as place of abode and use the insecurity around the place to perpetuate all kinds of crimes, noting that they could have set the fire. He recalled that attempt by FAAN to sanitise that place in the past incurred the wrath of the tanker drivers and their officials who threatened to go on strike. “There was a time they used a tanker to block the airport road in protest of the decision of FAAN to sanitise the place. In fact, the area need total reorganization,” the source said.