A raging fire, on Sunday evening, engulfed the auditorium and three offices of The Word Assembly Church in Ilorin, Kwara State.
The fire which reportedly started in the evening after the Sunday Service consumed the main auditorium and three of the six offices at the headquarters of the church located along Ajase-Ipo Road, Ilorin.
According to reports, the fire caused severe damage to the church properties because of the late reporting of the incident to the state fire service and other security agencies in the state.
This was contained in a statement by Hassan Adekunle, Head of Media and Publicity of the State Fire Service.
Adekunle said, “On Sunday, September 3rd, 2023, at approximately 17:08 hours, the Kwara State Fire Service received an urgent call reporting a fire outbreak at The Word Assembly Headquarters along Ajase-Ipo Road in Ilorin, Kwara State. The distress call was made by one Mr. Akanni.
“The fire crew promptly responded to the call. Upon arrival at the scene, they found that a devastating inferno had already consumed the auditorium of the church due to the late call despite the significant damage caused by the fire. However, the firemen managed to contain the inferno and prevent it from spreading further.
“It’s worth noting that the materials used for the building construction were not fire-retardant, including aluminum roofing and plywood for the ceiling. These non-fire-resistant materials contributed to the rapid spread of the fire before the fire service’s arrival.”
Adekunle also said the fire not only affected the auditorium but also three out of the six offices.
“During the subsequent investigation into the cause of the outbreak, it was suspected to be a result of a power surge.
“At the scene of the incident, notable figures such as Alhaji AbdulRazaq Jiddah, the Senior Special Assistant to the Kwara Governor on Special Duties; and Prince Falade John Olumuyiwa, the Director of the Kwara State Fire Service, were present.
“Additionally, various security agencies, including the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, and the Federal Fire Service, provided support and assistance to reduce the damage done to property in the fire incident.”
The Fire Service put the total estimated property lost in the incident at N39.5 million while the total estimated property saved was N74.3 million.
“Therefore, Director, Kwara State Fire Service, Prince Falade Olumuyiwa strongly emphasized the importance of timely reporting of fire incidents by the general public,” the statement said.
Falade also urged members of the public to call the fire service promptly whenever a fire occurs, emphasizing that swift action is crucial for minimizing the extent of fire damage.