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Confusion Over Fire At Oba Of Lagos Palace

Iga Idunganran, the palace of the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, on Lagos Island, was the scene of confusion on Tuesday as fire gutted part of the monarch’s royal resident.

A source confirmed that Oba Akiolu was at the palace when the fire started.

The fire emanated from an air conditioner in the palace around 1.30pm with smoke billowing to the sky, which attracted a mammoth crowd to the area.

The palace gate was, however, shut to the crowd as firefighters from the Lagos Fire Service battled with the fire. It was eventually put out around 3.30pm.

The palace authorities are not ready to speak on the fire.

A source told Punch that, “The fire started around 1.30pm. The fire service arrived 1.50pm. Except the emergency officials, nobody was allowed to enter. The gate was shut. A lot of policemen were on the ground. The fire started from one of the air conditioners in the palace. I learnt the kabiyesi (Oba Akiolu) was inside the palace when the incident happened.”

An emergency official, who did not want his name in print, said that the fire affected an apartment on the second floor of the palace.

He said, “The palace is a storeyed building. The fire affected an apartment on the second floor. It is a flat and the living room was nearly damaged. The fire was broke out from one of the air conditioners in the house. The apartment was full of smoke by the time firefighters arrived at the palace.

“The smoke had engulfed everywhere, so we didn’t discover the point of the fire immediately. Household items, such as clothes and furniture, were destroyed. The radiation of the fire slightly affected the bedroom of the apartment. It was a sensitive incident. The palace authorities told us that they did not want it to be in the public domain. We were not even allowed to take pictures of the apartment.”