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How fire officers, residents saved newspaper Aba office, others

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By Yolamchi Ukaga, Aba

A bungalow, situated at 74, St. Michael’s road, Aba, which serves as a residence and office and said to belong to the Anglican Church, was, Tuesday, engulfed by fire.

However, a quick intervention of residence and response by officials of Abia State Fire Service, saved, what would have been a disaster.

The affected house is bounded by a three-storey building, which houses the Daily Sun office and other offices. Also close to the building is a printing press, which is also owned by the Aba Diocese of the Anglican Church.

Consequently, residents of St. Michael’s Road, praised the personnel of the Abia Fire Service for responding quickly to a distress call and swiftly putting out the as well as making sure that it did not spread to other buildings.

It took a joint effort of the personnel of Abia State Fire Service and residents of Aba to extinguish the raging fire.

The cause of the fire could not be ascertained.

Eva Ifedioramma, a resident, who joined in putting out the fire, praised both the fire service and residents for doing the needful when required.

“Honestly Aba people tried. It took their effort to keep the fire down before the arrival of the Fire Service. I commend the men of the fire service for arriving early to stop this fire. They didn’t complain of lack of water or anything today. I’m happy about the development.

“The smoke was too much. I noticed it from my shop, which is close to the affected building. So, when I saw people rushing, I decided to also join them to salvage the building. This place serves as residential and office and a lot of things was lost inside that place, but I’m not in the right capacity to ascertain what was actually lost”.

Onyinyechi Ekpendu, the owner of a pool house in the affected building, said that she does not know how the fire started. She added that she only got to know about the fire when her neighbours started raising alarm as smoke covered the building from another wing of the building.

“I can’t understand what happened. I don’t know what caused this. I was inside our office and the whole place was filled with smoke. I came out to see this”, she said.

Aba unit commander of the Abia State Fire Service, Okezie Uche, who was on ground to extinguish the fire, also praised his men and thanked Aba residents for helping his men.

In his words, “We got the information from the state controller of Abia State Fire Service, Victor Gbaruko. He called us from the Headquarters concerning this incident.  It didn’t take us up to three minutes to get here. But what we did was to try to put off the fire and control it from touching the adjoining buildings. The good response of firefighters in Aba did a great job.

“Our quick intervention saved the other buildings. For now, I can’t tell the public what caused the fire until I get full details. The public did assist us in extinguishing the fire”, he stated.

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