There was confusion at the palace of Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi on Wednesday as fire gutted one of the buildings in the palace and destroyed properties.
The Nation learned that the fire which affected the Administrative Building started about 1:14 PM and lasted for about 23 minutes.
A source revealed that a phone call was placed to fire service. They arrived about 6 minutes later to extinguish the fire.
The Administrative Officer of Osun State Fire Service, Fatai Aremu confirmed the incident. He said, one of the rooms in the administrative building of the Ooni’s palace was razed with fire.
“Our personnel at Ile-Ife fire station was called to the incident at 1:20 pm and they responded swiftly to the call and were able to put off the fire. The fire was caused as a result of a power surge.
“Though the fire-affected that single room but the effect was severe as it blew off the roof of that room, it would have spread beyond that but due to prompt arrival of fire personnel from the state. Property affected are clothes, upholstery chairs, and other home use equipment as the room belongs to one of the chiefs.”
Reacting to the incident the Director of Media and Public Affairs, Ooni’s Palace, Comrade Moses Olafare, titled ‘Alleged fire outbreak: Ooni’s palace intact’, read, “the Palace of the Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, wishes to inform the entire public that a minor fire outbreak involving a tiny part of one of the administrative buildings within the premises of the palace occurred at about 1:15 pm today, Wednesday 19th, August 2020, leaving no harm to the oldest palace in Yoruba land.
The minor inferno which lasted for about 20 minutes was immediately put out by collective efforts of people in the palace led by the Ooni’s Chief Security, Kolawole Emmanuel, later joined by men of the fire services from the state government, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife.
He noted that there was no causality whatsoever; the fire was just a minor occurrence which was nothing to be compared to the misleading huge pictures being painted in social media.
“We wish to thank men of the Osun State Fire service, Obafemi Awolowo University Fire Service, and OAUTH Fire Service for their swift response, while efforts of well-meaning Nigerians who reached out to the Palace for objective analysis are equally appreciated,” he added.