Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
At least two persons escaped death while equipment worth millions of naira was damaged after a fire incident at the old head office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the Wuse 2 area of Abuja on Monday.
Although the cause of the fire could not be ascertained as of press time, it was learnt that the fire started from the ICT department which formerly served as the newsroom.
The EFCC said in a statement by its acting spokesman, Mr. Tony Orilade, that the damage would have been worse if not for the timely arrival of men of the Federal Fire Service.
The firefighters led by the Sector Commander, Melone Onyekachi, arrived at the scene when the service was alerted to the fire by the Incident Duty Officer of the commission, Kayode Oyetunde, at 7pm .
The statement read in part, “The fire started at the former newsroom, which now serves as storage for ICT equipment that were retrieved from the commission’s former offices scattered across Abuja.
“The former newsroom is in the Costa Hall, which was inaugurated by Dr. Antonio Costa in 2007. The building currently houses the Data Centre and the Combined Inter Agency Task Force.”
When asked what could have caused the fire, Onyekachi said, “Our duty is to put out fire; that we have successfully done. There is another department that will come and ascertain the cause of the fire.”
According to the statement, two officers attached to the Combined Inter-Agency Task Force who were trapped on the second floor of the building were rescued before the fire was eventually subdued. The extent of the damage would be ascertained after stock-taking.
The Commission’s Chief Security Officer, Nasir Abdullahi, immediately after the fire was stopped, went to the Maitama Police Station to report. (Punch)