People are homeless as fire guts 55 buildings in Rivers
Goods and property worth millions of naira were on Tuesday destroyed at Chikwe Street in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Though the cause of the fire which started at about 8am could not be ascertained as of the time of filing this report, a caretaker of the property located at No 14 Chikwe Street, off Apara Link Road, simply identified as Jaja, said the fire destroyed over 55 makeshift buildings.
He said he had gone to drop his son at school when someone called him to break the news, saying none of those affected salvaged any belongings.
Jaja said, “In the morning, I took my son to school. They called me on a phone that the whole place was on fire. I don’t know where the fire started and before I got back, all the buildings were burnt down.
There was a large crowd. I didn’t see anybody who salvaged anything. They said they were battling to put out the fire but didn’t succeed. So everything, about 55 buildings got burnt.”
A female victim named Nancy who spoke with FIRST CLASS GISTS said she left home early on Tuesday only to rush back after the news got to her and discovered she had lost everything.
“I left my house very early only to come back and see what has happened. I couldn’t bring out anything. Honestly, I don’t know where to start from. Let the government come and help us”, she lamented.
Some residents who spoke angrily said when the fire started, they immediately contacted the Federal Fire Service but expressed surprise that hours after, there was no sign of them.
Our correspondent who visited the scene observed that thick smoke from the inferno billowed into the sky while the affected residents, now homeless, were stranded as they and others tried for several hours to extinguish the fire.
Efforts to reach the spokesperson for the state Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, proved abortive as her mobile number was not connecting as of the time of filing this report on Tuesday afternoon