By Tony Adibe
There was panic among residents of Chiene Street, Achara Layout Enugu, in Enugu South Council Area within the Enugu metropolis, Enugu State as early morning fire engulfed part of a 2-storey building on the street, destroying household effects said to be worth several millions of naira.
The cause of the fire outbreak was yet to be ascertained as at the time of filing this report, but eyewitness said the fire incident started at about few minutes past 7am on Monday at No. 7, Chiene Street.
However, NewsBits learnt that were it not for the rapid response from the men of the Enugu State Fire Service, the inferno, would have spread to the entire building with almost six flats. It was learnt that though no life was lost in the incident, however, the entire household effects inside the particular 3-bedroom apartment where the fire started were burnt.
The Land lady of the building, an octogenarian said to be from Oraifite in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State, was speechless when journalists visited the scene and made effort to interview her and the daughter, who is the occupant of the affected apartment, as they looked rather horrified.
But a neighbour, Hon. Chika Nzelu, who witnessed the incident, while speaking with reporters said: “it’s really, really sad and unfortunate.” Hon. Nzelu, who said he was a former Aide to the immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Chief Wily Obiano, said residents and passers-by made efforts to extinguish the fire but their efforts didn’t bear fruit.
But Nzelu lauded the Enugu fire Service men for responding, although he said he regretted that “they came a bit late when the fire had almost wrecked serious havoc on the building.” He also emphasised the need for prompt response during emergencies.
The leader of the fire fighters, Mr. Chukwuma Ugwuaneke, told newsmen that as soon as they received a distressss call from residents of the area, they raced to the scene of the incident.
He said: “On receiving the call, we immediately mobilized our men and fire engine to the scene. And we thank God that we were able to control and extinguished the fire at the point we met it.”
Ugwuaneke urged Enugu residents to always take fire precautionary measures very seriously, stressing that “people must always switch off their electrical appliances before going out, clear bushes around their houses especially this period of harmattan, above all ensure that they have fire extinguisher in their homes.”
He further advised Enugu residents to always call the fire service emergency phone numbers whenever there is fire incidents to enable them to intervene before such fire escalates to a dangerous stage.