No fewer than 60 people and property worth N790.5 million were lost in fire disasters between January and November this year in Gombe State, an official of the state has said.
The official, Haruna Wambai, a Fire Rescue Officer, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Gombe on Wednesday.
Wambai said that the cause of most of the fire disasters were negligence by the people, adding that the Fire Service received 198 emergency calls and responded to them.
He said that within the period under review, the Fire Service rescued properties worth N883.4 million, saying that the figure was minimal, compared to the previous year, due to rapid response to emergency calls.
According to him, the Fire Service has only two fire fighting engines in the Gombe metropolis, adding that under normal circumstances they are supposed to have eight.
“The two functional fire engines we have cannot cover the metropolis effectively, “ he explained.
Mr. Wambai stressed the need to relocate the service from where it was to a permanent site where it would have enough space to perform effectively.
He further called on well meaning persons to contribute in one way or the other to the growth of the service.
He decried the lack of insurance for officers of the service, stressing that “the nature of our job is risky, we do not have insurance, our staff die as a result of attending to emergencies.
“Some were even burnt in the course of carrying their day-to-day activities. If the government can look up to the welfare of these personnel I believe they can work effectively. “
He cautioned people on the use of electrical appliances, noting that it was one of the leading causes of fire disasters.
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