By Monsuru Olowoopejo
LAGOS—There was confusion at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, yesterday, after Harold Building, a major building in the hotel, was gutted by fire, destroying property worth several millions of Naira.
The fire, which also spread to the banquet hall and Osun Hall, forced the hotel staff to vacate the building when the fire started at about 5a.m. The Emergency Response Team of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, to rush to the scene.
When Vanguard visited the hotel yesterday, plumes of smoke were still coming out of the building.
The fire was said to have been caused by a power surge in the Banquet Hall, before it spread to other sections of the hotel.
The Director of Lagos Fire Service, Mr. Rasak Fadipe and General Manager of LASEMA, Mr. Michael Akindele, confirmed the incident to Vanguard.
Fadipe said that fire trucks from Alausa Station and Ikeja were deployed to the scene to combat the fire from spreading to adjoining structures within the hotel complex.
Akindele said: “We are happy that there was no loss of life or injury sustained by anyone. However, properties worth millions of Naira were destroyed by the inferno.”
Narrating the extent of damage, the General Manager said: “Three rooms, rooms 270, 271 and 272, on the second floor of Harold Building were gutted. The entire computers section of Osun Hall and Harold Kitchen were totally destroyed by the inferno.
On the cause of the inferno, Akindele said that proper investigation would be carried out by appropriate agencies to ascertain the real cause of the fire outbreak.
He, however, urged companies and property owners “to ensure they put in place emergency response plan and safety precautions to avert future occurrence.”
Effort to gain entrance into the banquet hall where the fire emanated proved abortive as officials of the hotel, owned by the six South-West States (Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo and Oyo) under the aegis of Oodua Group, barred visitors.
An official, who identified himself as the Chief Security of the hotel, said: “There is no fire disaster here. In fact, nothing happened.”