Fire yesterday gutted parts of the Ile-Oodua at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.
It was gathered that the incident caused panic in the ancient city as the fire razed one of the buildings in the palace and destroyed properties.
The fire, which affected the Administrative Building, started at about 1:14p.m. and lasted for about 23 minutes. According to a source, a phone call was placed to the fire service and they responded six 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 palace was razed.
“Our personnel at Ile-Ife fire station was called at 1:20p.m. and they responded swiftly to the call and were able to put off the fire. The fire was caused power surge. Though the fire-affected that single room, the effect was severe as it blew off the roof of that room and would have spread beyond that but for the 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, Director of Media and Public Affairs, Ooni’s Palace, Comrade Moses Olafare, said the fire was not as serious as it was being reported on social media.
“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 1:15p.m. on Wednesday, leaving no harm to the oldest palace in Yorubaland.
“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 casualty whatsoever, “the fire was just a minor occurrence, which was nothing to be compared to the misleading pictures of huge flames being broadcast on the social media.
“While it is suspected to have emanated from an electric spark, measures are currently in place to reveal the cause of the inferno. We wish to thank men of the Osun State Fire service, Obafemi Awolowo University Fire Service and OAUTH Fire Service for their swift response,” Olafare said.