By Buchi James
No fewer than 500 school children of Gran Hermano Academy, Awka, Anambra state, last Thursday, escaped death from a fire that left part of the school building destroyed.
Orient Weekend reliably gathered that the teachers and parents of the school children also escaped the fire which disrupted the school’s end-of-year party which was already underway as at the time it started.
According to one of the school staff members, who doesn’t want his name in print, the fire broke out at about 2:45pm, just as parents and other invited guests were making their way into the school for the end-of-year conviviality.
This paper learnt that the fire resulted from an electrical fault in the school’s female hostel and was actively combatted and quenched by men of the Anambra State Fire Service, personally led by the state director, Engr. Martin Agbili.
In an interview with Orient Weekend shortly after putting off the fire, Agbili stated that he received a distress a call on the fire and quickly responded by mobilising for the successful fight against it.
The director also confirmed that the fire was caused by electrical fault and called on Anambra people to be more careful in their handling of electrical appliances, especially in this festive season.
He also stated that, apart from a woman who suffered a dislocation in her leg while escaping from the scene of the fire, there were no other causalities.
In separate interviews, some of the parents and children, who spoke with this reporter, decried the incident, while they expressed optimism that adequate measures would be put in place by the school authority to forestall recurrence.
They expressed gratitude to men of the Anambra state Fire Service, especially the state director, Engr. Martins Agbili, for their prompt and effective response to the fire, a response which they said ensured effective checkmate of the fire and prevented its escalation.