Fire guts 22-storey commercial building in Lagos
Posted Monday, November 4 2013 at 17:54
Lagos - An early morning fire engulfed a commercial building in Nigeria's economic hub Lagos on Monday, causing serious damage to the 22-storey high-rise tower on the Lagos Island broad-martins street.
A Xinhua reporter at the scene said tenants of the building and traders wept as flames engulfed the Great Nigeria House, which served as their offices and warehouses.
There was nobody in the building because the fire started before work hours, the reporter added.
Many of the traders were seen scrambling to salvage their goods from the burning building, as the blaze brought to a standstill commercial activities in the ever busy Balogun area of Lagos Island.
The Great Nigeria House, acclaimed as the fifth tallest building in Nigeria, accommodates Mainstreet Bank and served as warehouses to some traders.
Kazzem Alabi, a businessman, told Xinhua that the fire started at about 6 a.m. local time and was first noticed on the first floor. By 10:30 a.m., the fire had taken over the first four floors.
The cause of the fire could not be ascertained yet, but that traders had been told to vacate the neighboring buildings.
Firemen were still battling to contain the fire, prevented it from spreading to other floors and shopping plazas around the skyscraper.