How fire gut Visafone office in Lagos

by Lucas Togan

Onlookers at the scene

The national sales office of Visafone Communications Limited on Saka Tinubu, Victoria Island was gutted with fire on Tuesday. The incident claimed no lives but equipment and property worth millions of naira were lost to the fire which lasted several hours.

Firefighters told reporters that the fire began on the ground floor in the vault that housed recharge cards.

The Punch reports:

Director, Lagos State Fire and Safety Service, Razaq Fadipe, told our correspondent that over 50,000 litres of water was used in putting out the fire.

He said the fire was difficult to put out because of the peculiarity of the building.

He said, “There was fire outbreak around 12.56pm at 33 Saka Tinubu Street, Victoria Island, which is where the national sales office of Visafone is located. We rushed down to the scene and were able to evacuate all the occupants of the building.

“Initially, we thought the fire was on the first floor because of the direction of the smoke but we later discovered that the fire was from the recharge room otherwise known as the vault. There was no water at the company so I had to get three fire trucks from Onikan, Eti-Osa and Lagos Island fire stations.

“The Federal Fire Service also provided a truck of water but the fire proved stubborn. Each truck contains 10,000 litres and they all had to refill twice each in order to put out the fire. The office was arranged in such a way that hindered our work.”

Fadipe stressed the need for companies to organise fire drills for their staff as this would let them know what to do in case of fire.

The Public Relations Officer, Visafone, Mr. Joseph Ushigiale, said he could not say how much the company had lost to the fire.

Ushigiale said, “The fire did not last for long and has been put out. I cannot say how much was lost for now but we thank God that no life was lost.”

On arrangement of the office, Ushigiale said,  “The office was arranged in that manner because as a telecommunications company, we make use of many cables and certain equipment. We thank the fire service for their swift response.”

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