Lagos — The Tinubu, Lagos office of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, went up in flames yesterday.
The cause of the fire said to have started from the third floor of the five storey building was yet to be ascertained as at time of writing this report.
But unconfirmed report said it was caused by electrical fault.
It was gathered that it started at about 5.10pm as workers were about moving documents and other sensitive items to the new building . Eye witnesses said an alarm was raised by a passer-by who noticed smoke billowing from the affected floor, causing staff of the apex bank who had closed for the day to scamper for safety.
The Lagos State Director of Fire Service, Mr. Rasaq Fadipe, when contacted, said two fire trucks from Onikan and Sari Iganmu stations with 10,000 litres of water each were drafted to the scene immediately information reached the service at about 5.45pm.
The fire fighters were still battling to contain the situation at about 6.50pm.
Fadipe could, however, not give the exact number of offices affected. He stated that it would be ascertained at the end of the operation, assuring that his men were on top of the situation.
The tragedy took a new turn when a state fire officer (names withheld) collapsed due to suffocation by the fumes he inhaled but he was later rescued and taken to a nearby hospital.
While reacting to the fire incidence, the Director, Corporate Communications Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, in a statement said: "The CBN wishes to inform its stakeholders and the general public that a fire incident occurred at its Lagos Branch Office at about 5.30 this evening (Tuesday, March 25, 2014).
"The fire, which occurred on the first floor of the building, has been put out by a combined team of fire fighters from the CBN and other institutions. We wish to assure our numerous stakeholders that the records of the bank are intact, as the bank has an effective backup of all its records as part of our disaster recovery infrastructure."