There was pandemonium and fear on Wednesday within the premises of the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere as fire gutted the chambers of the Chief Judge, Justice Funmilayo Atilade.
The CJ’s courtroom which is on the top floor of the old building was razed by fire at about 8.15am following a spark from one of the air-conditioning unit in the chambers.
The fire started when one of the cleaners switched on the faulty air-conditioner and left the courtroom.
But, another report says that the fire was noticed by a security woman popularly called Alhaja, who raised the alarm.
The security woman was said to have been hurriedly taken to the hospital as a result of the smoke she allegedly inhaled before the arrival of the fire fighters.
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 fire fighters about one hour to put off the fire as a result of the heavy smoke emitting from the court room.
Although the fire was quickly put out by the fire fighters, the inferno disrupted activities as litigants were evacuated from the premises and the gates locked.
But some of the furniture and bookshelves in the CJ’s chamber were partly destroyed as a result of the incident
It was gathered that the fire fighters got to the scene about thirty minutes after the incident started.
According to one of the court registrars who spoke on condition of anonymity, “the fire started from one of the air-conditioning unit in the CJ’s chamber. But, before anyone could get to know about it, it had 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.