Fire razed a section of the PREMIUM TIMES head office in Abuja on Friday, damaging the newspaper's newsroom and destroying properties.
The fire started from the office of the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Musikilu Mojeed, shortly after he left for jumaat prayers.
A thick smoke biĺlowing from the office alerted editors next door to the incident. They forced the door open but were pushed back by the smoke.
The federal and FCT fire services were immediately contacted. The building was evacuated as staff and witnesses used extinguishers to battle the inferno before the firefighters arrived at the scene in the Wuse area of Abuja.
The fire destroyed the office of the Editor-in-Chief and sprayed soot on the newsroom and other offices. Computers, printers, furniture, documents, as well as the personal effects of Mr Mojeed were all destroyed.
The fire, which started at about 1.30 p.m., forced the newspaper to cancel its weekly editorial meeting.
Staff members were baffled by the suddenness of the fire. But fire officers suspected an electrical fault as the cause. Commenting on the incident, Assistant Managing Editor, Bisi Abidoye, who witnessed the incident, lamented its havoc on the office of the Editor-in-Chief.
“We noticed smoke billowing from the Editor-in-Chief’s office about 20 minutes after he left for the mosque. It was all so sudden and the damage was so severe,” he said.
Mr Abidoye said the incident has been reported to the authorities for formal investigation.