About 80 people have been rendered homeless after an inferno razed six buildings occupied by some residents of Demore Street, D-Line in Port Harcourt and in Rumuokuta, Obio/Akpor areas in Rivers State on Saturday. The fire also destroyed property worth millions of naira.
In Rumuokuta, Obio/Akpor, a three-storey building was brought down after it was ravaged by an early morning fire same day.
While the fire incident in Port Harcourt started at about 8.15am, the one at Rumuokuta began at about 3am while residents were asleep.
In the Port Harcourt incidents, over 60 occupants were affected while about 20 persons were also rendered homeless in Obio/Akpor by the Christmas eve fire outbreak in the two areas.
Speaking with Sunday Punch, an occupant of one of the affected buildings on Demore Street, D-Line in Port Harcourt, said the fire outbreak began from the lowest house among the six close to one another.
The occupant of the badly affected house, Mr. Second Baar, explained that efforts made by youths living inside the compound could not put out the fire as it spread to other apartments.
Baar pointed out that though the cause of the fire could not be immediately ascertained, many suspected a spark from an electric wire or electric cooker.
He said that one of the houses that was terribly affected had about 15 rooms and over 60 occupants, adding that the particular building was totally destroyed by the fire.
“The fire started from the lowest house there and moved to the main building where it now escalated. Property lost are uncountable. Airconditioners and other home appliances were devoured by the fire.
“No life was lost. I have suddenly become a homeless man as I speak with you,” Baar lamented.
He told Sunday Punch that the building was worse hit belonged to the Pentecostal Fellowship Mission, adding that occupants were living there for free due to the high rent in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Another occupant of the house that was most affected, said fire fighters from the Rivers State Fire Service came about 30 minutes after the fire outbreak and were able to stop a further spread of the inferno.
The resident, who identified himself as David, said some youths quickly mixed water with detergent and poured on the raging fire, adding that the effort did not extinguish the inferno, which moved into other buildings within 15 minutes.
“We cannot really pick on anything to be the cause of the fire. As we tried to put it out, it was moving fast to other houses. Many belongings were lost. If not for the men of the fire service, other houses would have been razed,” David stressed.