By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos
Several properties worth millions of Naira were destroyed the chambers of the Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Funmilayo Atilade.
Witnesses said that the fire started after workers resumed for duties at 8.00 a.m and was caused by a spark from one of the air-conditioning unit in the Chief judge’s chamber.
The chamber is located on the top floor of the old building facing Catholic Mission Street, Lagos and it was gathered that the fire started when one of the cleaners switched on the faulty air-conditioner and left the courtroom.
Another account has it that the fire was noticed by a security woman popularly called Alhaja who raised alarm.
The security woman was said to have been hurriedly taken to the hospital as a result of the smoke she allegedly inhaled before the arrival of the firefighters.
The building was saved from being razed down following the quick intervention of Lagos State Fire Service that prevented the fire from spreading to other courtrooms.
However, it took the firefighter about one hour to put out the fire which was emitting heavy smoke from the court room.
It was observed that the fire incidence disrupted judiciary activities as litigants were evacuated from the premises and the gates locked.
But, some of the furniture and bookshelves in the CJ’s chamber were partly destroyed in the incident .
An eyewitness, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said he was in the office when he was informed that there was a fire outbreak.
According to the witness who is a court registrar, “the fire started from one of the air-conditioning unit in the CJ’s chamber. But, before anyone could get to know about it, it has gone out of control”.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO), High Court of Lagos state, Mrs Grace Alo confirmed the report and described the development as “a minor incident caused by electrical spark”.