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Nigeria: Fire Guts Wema Bank Headquarters in Lagos

This Day (Lagos)

Chiemelie Ezeobi

4 January 2012

The Headquarters of Wema Bank Nigeria Plc, located at No 54 Marina, Lagos was yesterday gutted by fire, as over 200 staff narrowly escaped being burnt to death.

The fire started around 4pm and as at press time, frantic and combined efforts to put it off proved abortive.

On ground to contain the fire were fire fighters from the Lagos State Fire Service, Federal Fire Service, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Union Bank, Julius Berger and policemen.

According to eye witness accounts, the fire emanated from the two generating plants located behind the bank’s 14-storey building.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, of staff of the bank disclosed that the big underground diesel tank which was constructed under the generator slab suddenly exploded into flames.

The source said the members of staff were lucky to have escaped alive, since the fire occurred during working hours.

Confirming the incident, Head, Brand and Marketing Communications, Mr. Adefemi Adeniran, said no life was lost in the incident.

Adeniran in a statement said: “We wish to inform all stakeholders and the general public that there was a fire outbreak at our Head Office, which emanated from the generating set.

Whilst no lives were lost during the incident, we wish to commend the prompt response and effort of the Lagos State and Nigerian Fire Service, the Nigerian Police and our colleagues in the neighbouring banks who came out to lend their support in ensuring that the fire was brought under total control in good time.

“We also wish to assure the public that the bank has put in place necessary measures to mitigate the impact of such occurrences and that the fire would in no way adversely affect the operations of the bank.”

Also confirming the incident, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Samuel Jinadu, a deputy superintendent of police, reiterated that no life was lost.

He said policemen quickly moved to the scene of the incident when they got wind of the fire outbreak.

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