There was pandemonium on Tuesday when fire broke out on the premises of Ecobank’s headquarters on Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos State.
The fire occurred around 8.50am when a tanker laden with about 33,000 litres of diesel caught fire while delivering the fuel at the bank.
Our correspondent learnt that the fire burnt the diesel-laden tanker, a transformer and a generator placed around the bank’s fuel dump on the premises.
It was gathered that relevant emergency agencies of both Lagos State and the Federal Government responded to the incident.
They include the Lagos State Fire Service, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Fire Service, UBA Fire Service, Julius Berger Fire Service and NNPC Fire Service.
Eyewitnesses said the responders were instrumental in putting out the fire.
The Acting Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Mr Musbau Rasaqi, told our correspondent that four fire service stations were deployed to the scene to fight the fire.
He said, “We got a call around 8.55am at our control room at Alausa that there was fire at Ecobank. Immediately, we mobilised four fire service stations to the scene of the fire.
“Lekki Phase One Fire Service Station got there around 9.01am, Sari Iganmu Fire Service Station got there around 9.04am; followed by Alausa and Ilupeju fire service stations.
“The tanker that caught fire was on Ecobank’s premises, at the fuel dump area where we have their transformer, generator and the diesel tanker. The tanker, the transformer and the generator of the bank got burnt.
“There was no loss of life as members of staff of Ecobank left the bank’s premises to a safe place.
The Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Adesina Tiamiyu, also said the cause of the fire had yet to be ascertained, adding that the main structure of the bank was not affected.
He said, “The immediate cause of the fire has yet to be ascertained. However, investigation is being conducted to ascertain the actual cause of the fire. Emergency responders that were on the ground prevented the fire from escalating to adjoining building.”
The Managing Director, Ecobank, Charles Kie, on Tuesday in a statement by the Head of Brand and Communication, Ecobank, Tope Akinbola, commended the efforts of the emergency responders that came to the bank’s aid.
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 and we also express our sincere appreciation to the general public and all well-wishers.”
Akinbola added that the bank’s data centre was not affected as the government firefighting agencies arrived early to put out the fire.
He said, “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.”