There was panic today at the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere south west Nigeria as fire gutted the chambers of the Chief Judge, Justice Funmilayo Atilade.The judge’s courtroom which is on the top floor of the old building was razed at about 8.15am following a spark from one of the air-conditioning units.
An unconfirmed report says that the fire started when one of the cleaners switched on the faulty air-conditioner and left the courtroom.
But, another report said that the fire was noticed by a security woman popularly called Alhaja who raised an alarm.
The security woman was rushed to the hospital, when she fainted, as a result of the smoke she inhaled before the arrival of the firefighters.
The courtroom which is hardly used by the Chief Judge is reserved for her anytime she comes to the Lagos division of the court.
The entire building was saved from being razed down following a quick intervention of Lagos State Fire Service that prevented the fire from spreading to other courtrooms.
However, it took the firefighters about one hour to put off the fire a result of heavy smoke emanating from the court room.
The incident disrupted activities as litigants were evacuated from the premises and the gates locked.
Some of the furniture and bookshelves were partly destroyed as a result of the incident.
It was gathered that the fire fighters got to the scene about 30 minutes after the incident started.
A witness said he was in the office when he was informed that there was a fire outbreak.
“The fire started from one of the air-conditioning units in the CJ’s chamber. But, before anyone could get to know about it, it has gone out of control. I quickly informed my colleagues in the office and we ran down the stairs to our vehicles which we drove out of the premises,” he said.