There was panic at the Federal secretariat, Abuja, on Thursday when fire engulfed the fifth floor office of the Ministry ofEducation.
It took the combined efforts of the Federal Fire Service and the FCT Fire Service to put out the fire which reportedly started around 1.45pm and spread to the sixth floor.
No casualty was recorded in the incident, but some files, furniture and other office equipment were destroyed.
The Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau was said to be holding a meeting with Principals of Unity Schools when the fire broke out.
The meeting ended abruptly as the minister, his officials the principals and other participants scampered for safety.
The FFS Public Relations Officer, Mr. Collins Elechi, said the cause of the fire was not immediately known.
He said, “We cannot ascertain the cause of the fire now cut it. It started from the fifth floor and remained between it and spread to the sixth floor.
“As you can see, the fire has been put off; we curtailed it from spreading to the adjourning property.”
The FFS spokesman, however, said that one of the challenges his men faced was that the lack of hydrant in the building.
“There is need for a functional hydrant in this building. We did not see one; we are not indicting the occupants of this building. That is one of the challenges we met here in the process.’’
The National Emergency Management Agency Research and Rescue officer, Mr. Labaran Haman, said investigation to determine the cause of the fire was ongoing.
He added that the rescue teams, including NEMA and fire servicemen, responded swiftly but faced the challenge of crowd control.