Fire Interrupts Operations at Ecobank Head Office

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    Rebecca Ejifoma

    Banking activities at the head office of Ecobank Nigeria Limited were brought to a halt in the early hours of yesterday as a fire outbreak engulfed the heavy-duty generator of the bank.

    According to eyewitness reports, the fire started at about 9am when a diesel laden tanker was offloading its products close to the switched on generating set.

    This caused an explosion, which engulfed the generator and would have exacerbated save for the timely response of the state fire service.

    After battling to contain the flames, the bank used its Twitter page to douse tension by announcing that the fire has been put out.

    Confirming the incident, General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Adesina Tiamiyu, said the agency received the distress call at about 8.54am through the emergency toll free line 112/767.

    He added, “The agency and its responders mobilised to the incident scene immediately. Upon arrival at the scene of incident it was discovered that a 33,000 Ltrs tanker laden with diesel (AGO) while transloading its content caught fire around the generator house within the bank’s premises.

    “The immediate cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained. However, investigation is being conducted to ascertain the actual cause of the inferno.

    “Emergency Responders which includes Lagos State fire Service , LASEMA Response Unit Fire Unit, Federal Fire Service, UBA Fire Service, Julius Berger Fire service and NNPC Fire Service were all on ground.

    “They combatted the inferno, thereby preventing it from escalating to the adjoining building.

    “No casualties nor loss of life were recorded as the inferno was completely brought under control.

    “The main structure within the bank premises was also not affected.

    Dampening of the affected area is still ongoing as at the time of reporting.”

    A statement quoted the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Charles Kie to have commended the fire service personnel for their diligence, expertise and bravery in dealing with this incident.

    “We sincerely thank Fidelity Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Julius Berger Nigeria and NAPIMS for providing much needed support and we also express our sincere appreciation to the general public and all well-wishers.

    “Ecobank’s Data Centre was unaffected, and business at the Head Office rapidly returned to normal. Ecobank assures everyone that the bank’s building and all its other facilities are unaffected. Ecobank successfully triggered its business continuity plan and normal banking activities have continued,” he added.