by Isi Esene
The headquarters of the weekly magazine, TheNews, located at Acme Road, Lagos, was yesterday evening gutted by fire. The fire reportedly affected the last floor of the two-storey building.
Sources say the fire, which started around 6:30pm, was caused by a power surge.
No one was injured in the fire but valuable property was destroyed in the unfortunate incident.
A source said, “The fire was very ferocious. I think the fire was caused by power surge. When the power supply was restored, the voltage was high and some employees did not switch off their systems.”
Also on Wednesday, the male hostel of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi Araba, was gutted by fire.
It was learnt that the fire started from room 648 and spread to room 647 on the third floor of Block 6 Alliakilu Hostel.
One of the occupants of room 648 told one of our correspondents that they were not able to salvage any of their property.
The student who declined to be named said, “Around 10am, I was playing basketball when I saw students running all over the place. When I got to the hostel, I noticed that it was my room that was on fire.
“We tried to put out the fire but it was so intense that it soon spread to the next room. The fire was raging because we couldn’t get a fire extinguisher which was in the hostel manager’s room.
“Also, there’s no water on the third floor so students had to go downstairs to get water which we used in fighting the fire.”
Another student attributed the fire incident to a power surge.
According to the student: “There were electric sparks in the room in April while we were attempting to install a ceiling fan. Some wires got burnt in the process. A few months later, a socket in the room sparked and it caused a blackout on the entire floor.
“After that incident, engineers came to repair it but since then, no permanent solution has been found. The engineers demanded money for the repair from us and after giving them, they didn’t solve the problem.”
The college public relations officer, Sunday Odejimi confirmed the incident but blamed the students for not reporting any act of extortion to the relevant authorities to be properly addressed.
He reportedly said, “Everybody knows the power situation in the country. If they had problem, why didn’t they report to the appropriate authorities?
“If they were being extorted as claimed, they should have reported to the students union which would have relayed the problem to the authorities.”