Fire guts Oba of Lagos’ palace

Oba Rilwan Aremu Akiolu

• Monarch unhurt, expensive traditional regalia destroyed, says NEMA

A mystery fire yesterday gutted the palace of the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Aremu Akiolu, with smokes billowing to the sky, which destroyed property worth millions of naira.

It was gathered that the fire, which started in the afternoon, attracting a crowd to the Iga Idugaran palace on Lagos Island, was eventually put out by firefighters.

The fire started from an air conditioner in an apartment inside the palace, destroyed furniture and other household items in the room. It also affected a section of the palace where expensive traditional regalia, the monarch’s royal beads and local fan were kept, an official said.

Ibrahim Farinloye, spokesperson of the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) said the fire was quickly nipped in the bud by the various emergency agencies on ground.

“The cause of the fire could not be ascertained immediately, but it has been put off by the combined efforts of federal fire service and state fire service,” he added.

It was gathered that what could have degenerated into an inferno around 1:25p.m. was swiftly controlled by officials of the fire services in the state.

When The Guardian contacted the palace, our correspondent was told that it was a minor fire, which did not affect the main sections of the palace.
As the fire raged on, Akiolu was said to have been whisked away from the palace to a safe place. The inferno is coming few days after the monarch was reported to have shunned the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi at a public function.

According to witnesses, two fire trucks were deployed to contain the inferno, which raged for about two hours.It took a combined team of officers from the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) policemen, officers from Lion Building, fire service men and officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) to contain the situation.

The palace gate was, however, shut to the crowd as firefighters from the Lagos State Fire Service, Shari Iganmu and Ilupeju stations, battled to put it out.Fire Service Director, Rasaq Fadipe, confirmed the incident, but said he didn’t have facts at the time of filing this report.

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Oba Rilwan Aremu Akiolu
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