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Staff, customers escape fire outbreak at bank’s headquarters

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Staff, customers and visitors at the head-office of a bank along Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos State, ran for their lives following a fire outbreak of a bank yesterday morning.

When The Guardian visited the scene, there was a thick smoke bellowing into the air while staff, visitors, customers and passersby were seen standing at a safe distance outside the bank expansive premises.

Policemen from the Victoria Island police station barricaded the road leading to the bank with their patrol vans.

A source at the bank said: “We heard the fire alarm and we all ran out of the banking hall. I learnt the fire outbreak was caused by the diesel generating set. The generating set is on fire but has not spread to the building.”

The fire, which broke out at about 8:30a.m. was, however, put off few hours later. The fire, which started at the generating set area in the compound, began when the tanker that was delivering diesel to the bank caught fire.

However, a combined team of the Lagos State Fire Service, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency Response Unit and the Federal Fire Service, which arrived quickly, put out the fire.

A statement from the bank said the fire was contained within the generator house, as well as the truck, with no loss of life or damage to any other property. The bank noted that its Data Centre was unaffected, while business at the headquarters had returned to normal and assures everyone that the bank’s building are unaffected.

Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Charles Kie, said: “We commend 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 the much-needed support. We also express our sincere appreciation to the general public and well-wishers.”


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