Fire razes build­ing in Rivers, de­stroys prop­erty

The Punch - - SATURDAY CITY ROUND - Chuk­wudi Akasike and Samp­son Itode

Amid­night fire out­break has razed a 22room build­ing lo­cated on Dim Street, Mile 3, Diobu in Port Har­court, Rivers State, de­stroy­ing prop­erty worth mil­lions of naira. The Thurs­day night fire was said to have spread across all the rooms of the build­ing be­fore some res­i­dents who were fast asleep no­ticed it.

Our cor­re­spon­dents gath­ered that the ma­jor­ity of the ten­ants in the mas­sive bun­ga­low had trav­elled to their vil­lages for the Yule­tide cel­e­bra­tions.

Res­i­dents of the area ex­plained that all the prop­erty in the build­ing was burnt be­fore of­fi­cials of the state fire ser­vice ar­rived to put out the fire.

How­ever, no life was lost dur­ing the in­ci­dent as the few ten­ants in the house were able to es­cape from the in­ferno that lasted for about two hours.

A res­i­dent of the area, who iden­ti­fied him­self as Steven, told one of our cor­re­spon­dents on Fri­day that no prop­erty was save dur­ing the in­ci­dent.

“It hap­pened at mid­night (on Thurs­day). The few peo­ple in­side the build­ing did not know about it un­til the fire spread to many parts of the house.

“it was a 22-room com­pound and all the rooms were burnt. No life was lost as most of the occupants trav­elled for the Yule­tide cel­e­bra­tions. The fire burnt ev­ery­thing. The fire­fight­ers came about 30 min­utes after the fire started and were not able to bring out any­thing,” Steven said.

An­other eye­wit­ness, who gave her name only as Dor­cas, ex­plained that the fire proved dif­fi­cult to con­trol as most res­i­dents on the street had gone to bed.

she said, “The in­ferno was much and dif­fi­cult to con­trol. It en­tered al­most ev­ery room and de­stroyed all the prop­erty there be­cause most of them were not around.

“There is a restau­rant at the front of the com­pound, but no­body knows where the fire came from. Be­fore the few peo­ple there knew what was hap­pen­ing, the fire had spread to ev­ery part of the build­ing.”

When con­tacted, the Di­rec­tor, Rivers State Fire Ser­vice, Chuk­wu­mati John, said the quick in­ter­ven­tion of his men to the scene of the in­ferno helped in cur­tail­ing it.

John said, “Our men were there at the scene last night to con­tain the fire and also to pre­vent it from af­fect­ing nearby build­ings. If not for our men’s quick re­sponse to the dis­tress call, the build­ings be­hind and ad­ja­cent would have been af­fected as well.”

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