A building located at 33 Creek Road, Apapa, Lagos, which allegedly belongs to the late businessman, Alex Ibru, was yesterday razed down by fire.
The cause of the fire, at press time, has yet to be determined.
About 4 o’clock in the afternoon, smoke was observed pouring from the building. No one initially suspected it was a fire.
However, as clouds of black smoke continued to hang over the building, those nearby raised the alarm. It eventually turned into a conflagration that completely burnt down the two-storey building.
As the fire became intense, the last floor collapsed on the middle floor which in turn collapsed on the ground floor.
The fire raged for close to six hours and it took the combined efforts of men of the Federal Fire Service, Lagos Fire Service, and the fire department of the Niger Biscuits, a company also located along Creek Road, to put off the fire.
Electrical appliances, including air conditioners, some of which were new and fixed a couple of weeks ago, were destroyed.
The fire paralysed activities at THISDAY office in Apapa, which is next to the burning building as firefighters worked desperately to contain it.
Prior to the fire, the house was decrepit, old and largely unkempt. Nevertheless, it served as offices for several companies and many of them lost valuables to the inferno.
Fire service vehicles and equipment could not reach the building in time, as articulated vehicles had largely blocked the roads leading to the building while the fire raged.
However, before government fire fighters arrived at the scene, workers at the fire department of the Niger Biscuits had already swung into action, passing their fire hose through THISDAY premises to stop the fire from spreading to other buildings.
While men of the Federal Fire service and Niger Biscuit Fire Department fought the fire from the premises of THISDAY, men of the Lagos Fire Service operated from within the burning building.
Despite the combined efforts of the two fire services and that of the Niger Biscuits, the fire raged for five hours, leading to speculation that combustible substances might have been kept in one of the offices within the building.
Those in the building were able to escape unhurt. It appeared since it was a Saturday, only few workers were around and many of them were able to leave the building before the fire became intense.
Investigation also revealed that the fire broke out in one of the offices within the building.
Fire-fighters succeeded in putting off the fire about 10pm.