By Peter Okutu, Abakaliki
A residential building and more than seven shops were Monday reportedly destroyed in a fire incident in Abakaliki.
The fire outbreak occurred around Mile 50 Layout, Abakaliki and destroyed properties worth millions of naira.
Confirming the fire outbreak, the Federal Fire Service, Ebonyi Command, said that the incident occurred at Aliugbala-Eze Street located around Eze and Bros Junction, Abakaliki.
Yakubu Zekeri, Assistant Superintendent of Fire in the Command, told Vanguard that no life was lost and no one was injured.
He pointed out that the quick drafting of firemen to the scene curtailed the spread of the fire.
Mr Zekeri, who led the firefighters to the scene, said property worth millions of naira were damaged.
“For now, we can’t really ascertain the cause of the fire but one of the tenants has told us that it was caused by an electrical spark. We are still on a `damping down` and when we are done with it we will know the actual cause of the fire,“ he said.
Mr Zekeri advised residents to cultivate the habit of switching off their electrical appliances when going out or going to bed.
“This will help them to prevent the chances of fire outbreak should there be a power surge in their homes.”
He reminded residents that the country was in the harmattan season, a period that is susceptible to fire outbreaks because of its dry nature.
“This is dry season and critical period for a fire outbreak. I urge the residents to always call on firefighters whenever there is any sign of fire. Do not wait for it to get worse before calling us,” he advised.
One of the victims of the fire incident, a police officer, Calistus Akogu, said he lost all his documents and other valuables to the fire.
“I was in the office when my wife called me about the fire, but before I could get home, all my properties had already been damaged.
“All I have now apart from my children and wife is the cloth on me. I have lost every other thing,“ Mr Akaogu said.