Smoke causes fire scare at Cocoa House

There was fire scare at Cocoa House, Ibadan, on Tuesday as smoke was seen emanating from the fourth floor of the tallest building in the city.

Concerned passersby alerted our correspondent in Ibadan to a possible fire outbreak in the building through a text message and telephone calls.

The 26-storey building belonging to Odua Investment Company Limited was gutted by fire in 1985 and it took the company, which is owned by the South-West States seven years to rehabilitate.

A text message from one of the concerned individuals, who simply identified himself as Hamed, said that he saw smoke coming out of a part of the building around 11 am. When our correspondent called him for further details, he said that the smoke was from one of the lower floors and that he saw some occupants of the building fleeing to escape being trapped in the fire.

A worker at one of the companies located in the building, Foluso Oloke, told our correspondent that there was an electric spark at a new communications’ company that has an office in the building and that the situation was quickly brought under control.

“There was a spark from the faulty meter and it brought out smoke. Naturally, people would express fear because of a past incident when the building got burnt with many people injured. But there was no damage to the building this time because the spark did not ignite fire,” she said.

When contacted, Group Head, Corporate Affairs, Odua Investment, Victor Ayetoro, confirmed that there was smoke from the fourth floor with no damage to the structure.

He said, “I can confirm to you that there is no fire in Cocoa House. An engine was started on the fourth floor and it emitted smoke which probably caused a scare because people could see the smoke from distance because of the height of the building and its strategic position in the area.

“While we appreciate the concern of those who contacted INKLING, we also want to advice people not to raise a false alarm without confirming the situation on the ground.”

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