The popular Mamman Kontagora House on Marina Street, Lagos Island was gutted by fire yesterday.
The 14-storey building houses the National Deposit Insurance Company (NDIC), Federal Mortgage Bank and Diamond Bank. Commercial activities in the companies were halted because of the sudden outbreak of the fire. The fire was said to have been caused by an oil spillage from one of the generators installed on the fourth floor of the building.
Workers in the companies were seen bringing out some of their burnt documents from the building. The staff noticed smoke coming out of the generator room around 10am. One of the workers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “When I noticed the smoke in the morning, I quickly drew the attention of the chief security officer to the smoke. He said it was a minor something, which would be fixed.
Within a few hours, the whole building had become engulfed in a thick smoke. The smoke made every occupant of the building to be running outside.”
The Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank, Mr. Gimba Kumoh, said: “The fire took us by surprise. We were all in our various offices when suddenly we heard the shout of fire. Immediately everybody rushed out for safety. Some workers were trapped, but later rescued by firefighters.”
The Head of Operations, Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), Mr Femi Giwa, said they received a distressed call that a seven-storey building was burning on the Island. He said: “We ran down to the scene of the incident.”