By Lucky Isibor
Tragedy was averted Tuesday at the Edo state headquarters of Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO).
A faulty air conditioner attached to the organization’s elevator which caught fire while in use caused the morning inferno.
The development caused panic among staff and customers who scampered for safety.
No life was lost in the 25 minutes blaze which ripped through the uppermost floor of the 5-storey building on Dawson road in Benin City, the Edo state Capital.
But, some staff and unidentified National Youth Service Corpse (NYSC) member was trapped in the faulty elevator for about 30 minutes before she could access help by the workers.
Those who managed to flee, said the experience was like hell because of the failure of the fire safety notice in the Organization.
The Corp member thought to be in her 20’s, was alleged to have sustained minor injury in her upper lip and had bruises during the inferno which raged around her.
Our Correspondent learnt that the fire was already put out before the arrival of a team of Edo state fire service. Emergency service in the institution made frantic effort to treat the injured.
A journalist attached to Edo Broadcasting Service (EBS) was reportedly brutalized by overzealous security personnel attached to the organization.
Reports said the journalist simply identified as Mr. Nosa, was attacked by armed security men who accused him of filming the fire incident without the permission of the management of the company.
Mr. Nosa had accused the security personnel of confiscating his working tools including Camcorder video camera, memory card and phones.
He was thereafter handed over to the Management of the LAPO, sparking outrage among the terrified crowd who watched helplessly.
The intervention of the Executive Director of LAPO, Mrs. Sabina Idowu Osehobor, however saved the situation
Mrs. Osehobor, however allayed fear that the fire incident that occurred in the company’s headquarters in Benin this morning caused some damages and affected activities in the company.