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Fire guts 25-storey Great Nigeria House

By The Rainbow

The 25-storey Great Nigeria House  was gutted by  fire early Monday morning.

According accounts, the fire started around 5.00 a.m on the first floor of the highrise building before spreading up to the fourth floor of the building.

Commercial activities were literarily paralysed, especially on Martins Street, where the building is situated as people milled round the building to watch in consternation as the fire raged.

Property worth multi-millions of naira was burnt in the inferno.

By afternoon, heavy smoke was billowing out of burnt floors, while frantic efforts were being made to prevent the fire from spreading to other parts of the building.

Reports indicate that occupants of nearby buildings evacuated their premises as a result  fears that the fire might spread to neighbouring buildings.

According to reports, though the cause of the incident was not immediately known.

But  some accounts attributed the  fire incident might to an electric spark due to a high voltage.

No life was lost in the incident, but the fire raged till late Monday afternoon, defying attempts by fire fighters from many government and non-government agencies.

Hoodlums who attempted to take advantage of the rowdy environment to loot were arrested by policemen  and other security agencies who were drafted to the area.

A fire fighter identified as Obia Onoh, an official of the Federal Fire Service,  was, however, injured by hoodlums who attacked him during an attempt to control the large crowd that stormed the scene.

However, the General Manager  of the Lagos State  Emergency Management  Agency, Femi Oke-Osanyitolu,  blamed the spread of the fire on inflammable materials that were stored in the building.

By his own official account, the fire started around 6.00 a.m and was prevented  from spreading to other buildings in the highly populated area by agencies of the government.

Meanwhile, an unspecified number of artisans were, on Monday evening, trapped when a section of the building they were working on collapsed.

The site workers were said to be working on a four-storey building located at Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, when it callapsed.

The artisans, who were said to have been caught unawares by the collapse, were still  trapped as of the time of filing this report.