There was a fire outbreak at the Synagogue Church of All Nations on Monday night during the funeral of Nigerian preacher Temitope Balogun Joshua popularly known as Prophet T B Joshua.
The fire, which was noticed at about 11 p.m., affected a building that a witness said housed a store on the premises, some metres away from the church’s main auditorium
The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained but the witness, who did not want to be named because he was not authorised to speak, said it resulted from an electrical spark.
Joshua’s widow, Evelyn Joshua, led about 6,000 mourners in a candlelight procession to mark the beginning of a week-long funeral rite of the controversial Nigerian preacher.
Joshua died last month a few days before his 58th birthday.
As the funeral was going on in Lagos, fire gutted a storehouse in the church’s premises at about 11pm causing mourners to scamper for safety.
Church officials said the fire was caused by an electrical spark.
A statement released by the church said: “In the late evening of Monday, July 5, 2021, there was a minor electrical fire incident at a storehouse within the Synagogue Church Of All Nations complex.
“The incident was quickly brought under control without any injuries.
“As part of the preparedness for the weeklong services celebrating the life and legacy of Prophet TB Joshua, the church has worked closely with relevant government agencies including the Lagos State Fire Services, whose members were on the ground at the time of the incident.
“We thank God for His continued protection. We assure the general public that there is no cause for alarm and the services celebrating the life and legacy of Prophet TB Joshua will continue as scheduled.”
Mr Joshua’s weeklong funeral ceremony began on July 5 with a candlelight procession at the church’s prayer mountain in Ikotun, Lagos.
Other activities lined up for the ceremony include a tribute service on July 6 and 7, lying-in-state on July 8, laying to rest and internment on July 9, and a thanksgiving service on July 11
The popular televangelist died on June 5, according to his church, a few days before his 58th birthday. Joshua will be laid to rest on Friday, July 9, at the church premises in Lagos.