Monday, March 28, 2011


A woman running to safety as fire broke out at the Balmoral
Pic credit Naija Timmy

The Balmoral, a popular Lagos wedding and events venue located at 98 Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun, Ikeja has been completely reduced to ashes except for the signage and facade following a fire that ravaged through the structure yesterday evening during the City People Magazine Awards 2011.
Some people thought it was safe to
 watch from a fuel station
The day had started off like any other event at the very beautiful Balmoral, except that yesterday, the Balmoral expected a quintessential gathering of the nations biggest names in business, fashion, entertainment etc as the City People geared to honour them in  it's yearly achievers awards.
The event was scheduled to start at 2pm  but was running fashionably late. By about 3:30pm the hall was full to capacity with guests, celebrities and society personalities such as:
Erelu Dosunmu, Musicin, Tuface Idibia (who performed before the fire), Actress Genevieve Nnaji (who received an award), Senator Ita Giwa,Pastor Chris Okotie, Radio Personalities, Yaw and Lolo 1 of Wazobia FM, Actress Laide Bakare, Comedian Teju Baby Face, Tasty Fried Chicken MD, Mrs Olayinka Pamela Adedayo, Singer Tiwa Savage, Mrs Abba Folawiyo, Alariwo of Africa to name a few.
Side view of the front part of the Balmoral this morning from the petrol
station beside it.
The event however, eventually kicked off around 4pm, to the delight of the guests. The decor  arranged by Rostal Flowers was said to have been splendid and by all indications the event was set to be another evening of fun for all but it wasn't to be so. 
According to our source, two awards had been presented and Mrs Abba Folawiyo was named as a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award. It was while everyone waited for her to receive the award that a guest noticed a small fire on the venue drapes towards the front of the hall. She screamed that the curtain was on fire  and the MC apparently calmly requested that someone put it out with a fire extinguisher but before the extinguisher arrived the fire had spread to the ceiling and mayhem descended on the venue as people started screaming and running to safety as the fire continued to spread. It was apparently a totally unbelievable scene as the crème de la crème, celebs, politicians and guests alike took to their heels running for their dear lives as the venue is right next door to a petrol station with fear of an explosion. While the venue burnt to ashes, thankfully everyone got out safely and the fire was contained by the Lagos Fire Service who we are told arrived within 15 minutes of the fire breaking out.

View of the back of the Balmoral
I spoke with some attendees who gave varying reports as to what they thought caused the fire and as can be imagined various conspiracy theories are already beginning to emerge. From politically motivated angles (PDP/ACN), suspected arson to careless staff, everyone seems to have their own opinion as to the source of the fire.However, until these theories are investigated and confirmed, Seriously Doughnuts cannot go into further details.
Seriously Doughnuts contacted popular A-list event planner, Funke Bucknor of Zapphaire Events (who was not at the event) to get her reaction to the loss of one of the most beautiful event venues in Lagos and she said "I'm so upset and devastated. We work there so often with the management and I can't begin to quantify the loss involved"
The devastation inside the Balmoral
One of the vendors  who was stationed at the City People Event yesterday, Mr Caesario de-Medeiros of Liquid Kraft, a Mobile Bar service providing it's world-class bar service before the fire broke, mentioned that they lost a lot of stock, glasses and components of their mobile bar to the fire. However he remains grateful everyone including his staff and guests at the events got out alive...


  1. Arson perhaps? Thank God no lives were lost.

  2. Yeah Thank God! Gosh this is quite sad though.


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