A building inside the Ile Oodua’s Palace of Ooni of Ife was on Wednesday gutted by fire, causing panic in the ancient city.
Administrative Officer of Osun State Fire Service, Fatai Aremu, confirmed the incident.
Aremu explained that the fire affected just one room in the said building.
He, however, described the effect as severe and blamed the development on a power surge.
He said, “One of the rooms in the administrative building of the Ooni’s palace was gutted by fire. Our personnel at Ile-Ife Fire Station were called to the incident at 1:20 pm and they responded swiftly to the call and were able to put out the fire.
“The fire was caused by a power surge. Though the fire affected a room, the effect was severe as it blew off the roof of that room. It would have spread beyond that, but due to prompt arrival of fire personnel.
“Property affected are; clothes, upholstery chairs, and other home use equipment as the room belongs to one of the chiefs. OAU Fire personnel and OAUTHC personnel assisted. Property saved worth N10 billion naira while estimated loss worth N1million.”
Meanwhile, the Palace of Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has said the incident was a minor inferno which lasted for about 20 minutes.
A statement by Moses Olafare, the Director of Media and Public Affairs, Ooni’s Palace, said, “The minor inferno which lasted for about 20 minutes was immediately put out by collective efforts of people in the palace led by the Ooni’s Chief Security, Kolawole Emmanuel, later joined by men of the fire services from the state government, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife.
“Aside from the fact that, there was no causality whatsoever, the fire was just a minor occurrence which was nothing to be compared to the misleading huge pictures being painted in the media, particularly the social media.
“While it is suspected to have emanated from an electric spark, measures are currently in place to reveal the cause of the inferno.”