Fire gutted the three-storey Faculty of Sciences building of the University of Lagos, Akoka, on Tuesday 20th of march 2012.
It was gathered that the fire started at about 6am. It affected the departments of Mathematics and Physics, which are on the second and third floors.
Academic materials, electronic appliances, furniture, personal effects and other belongings were burnt in the two affected floors.
A combined team of firefighters from the UNILAG Fire Service, Federal Fire Service, Lagos State Fire Service and Union Bank of Nigeria Fire and Rescue Unit combated the fire and put it out at about 9:55am.
No life was lost in the incident.
When our correspondent got to the scene of the incident, students, lecturers and non-teaching staff were seen running helter-skelter to salvage documents and other belongings that had not been destroyed by the fire.
A non-teaching employee attached to the Department of Physics, Mrs. Tina Elechi, burst into tears on getting to the scene of the incident.
She said,” I am finished. My documents are all gone. The original National Diploma certificate I kept in that office has been consumed by the fire. I only brought it here in order to make photocopies to forward to the university authorities and fast-track my promotion.
“The N30,000 contribution kept with me for the purpose of organising a send-off for an outgoing member of staff has also been burnt in that office.”
A final year student of the Department of Physics, Mr. Sheba Michael, said his practical log book, his industrial attachment report and his preliminary project work had been consumed by the inferno.
He said, “It’s so unfortunate that this is happening to us. I will definitely be starting my project work all over again as my preliminary work has been consumed by the fire.
“The university examination is starting next week and I’m not sure if the two affected departments would begin the exams with the others because as you can see almost everything is gone.”
A firefighter with the UNILAG Fire Service, Mr. Majuka Patrick, said the incident would have been worse if the fire had spread to the Department of Chemistry.
He said, “I think we need to give thanks to God that the fire did not spread to the department of chemistry. It would have been a lot disastrous because a lot of explosive chemical materials being used for practical are in that department.
“These chemicals would have aided the fire and explosions, which might have affected the whole building.”
In an e-mail statement to our correspondent, the Information Officer of the university, Mrs. Adejoke Alaga, said the fire incident would not disrupt activities in the affected department.
It said, “We thank all the fire services for their prompt response in complementing the efforts of the university fire service department.
“The university assures the students that the incident will not disrupt academic activities especially the forthcoming examinations.”
When asked what could have caused the fire incident, Alaga declined comment.
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