Fire engulfed a residential building in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, on Thursday morning.
The incident happened at No 7, Momo Street.
When PREMIUM TIMES visited the area, the about 10-room bungalow was still smouldering. All the properties in the building were completely razed.
It was gathered that the fire started at about 4 a.m. while its occupants were still asleep.
One of the occupants, Umaru Yakubu, told journalists that he was aroused from sleep by neighbours who raised the alarm over the fire.
He narrated that in addition to their loss, one of his brothers who trades on cattle lost about N200 million he had withdrawn the previous day for the purchase of cattle.
“We lost many things. My brother who is a tailor lost his industrial machine and everything in the shop. Another brother of mine who trades on cattle lost over N200 million. He was supposed to travel to the north the following day,” he narrated.
Mr. Yakubu blamed the officials of the Ebonyi State Fire Service who according to him failed to come in time even when they were beckoned upon. He said that their station and the scene of the incident was just a stone throw.
“For over 15 minutes, the officials of the Ebonyi State Fire Service did not come even when their station and the scene is just a stone throw. When they finally came, they sprayed little water and packed up; complaining that they don’t have enough water,” he narrated.
Another occupant, Bamba Hamajobia, lamented that all their food items and other wares were lost to the fire. She said the fire was caused by an electric spark were a refrigerator was plugged.
The victims also called on government and members of the public to come to their aide.