Following the fire outbreak at a petrol station along Nike Lake road by Penoks Junction, Trans Ekulu, Enugu, on Monday, residents of the area have commended the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for the swift intervention and expertise displayed by officers and men of Enugu State Fire Service in putting out the fire, without any loss of life.
The inferno according to eyewitnesses was caused by a truck discharging liquefied gas at the filling station, which lost control and hit the dispensing nozzle and ignited the fire.
The State Fire Service upon receiving a distress call rushed to the scene and put out the fire which affected just the petrol station, a commercial bus, a transformer, three shops and a residential building, shortly before Governor Ugwuanyi, his deputy, Cecilia Ezeilo, the Speaker of the State Assembly, Edward Ubosi and the State Commissioner of Police, Danmallam Mohammed, arrived the venue.
Reacting to the development, excited residents of the area, who cheered the governor for his presence and show of concern, expressed delight at the commitment, bravery and professionalism exhibited by the men and officers of the State Fire Service, stressing that this is the first time an inferno of such magnitude occurred without any loss of life.
They applauded Mr Ugwuanyi for repositioning the State Fire Service by providing it with sophisticated equipment, experienced personnel and other necessary logistics to discharge their duties efficiently.
Vincent Okonkwo, a near-by shop owner said: “Gburugburu (Ugwuanyi) has surprised us today. If you were here when this fire started, you will not believe that these firemen would quench it. We thought that was the end of everything we have, our shops, houses, vehicles and even the lives of people around here.
“In short, I saw hell today. But the way the fire service people worked to stop this fire. We say thank you to God and our governor and those that quenched it”.
Another resident, Priscilla Udeh, said: “We are very grateful to God for saving us from this danger. We equally thank our governor, Gburugburu, for sending these people on time to come and stop this dangerous fire. God is truly with us in this state.
“The governor has shown us that we are protected in this state because what happened here now is very serious and dangerous. But as you can see, nobody died. It is just these shops and that filling station. We sincerely thank God, we thank our governor too. May God bless him and grant him his heart’s desire”.
Arriving the scene, Mr Ugwuanyi, who expressed profound gratitude to God that no life was lost, commended the State Fire Service for the efficient and quick intervention, and equally thanked the people in the neighbourhood for their cooperation.
The governor maintained that Enugu State is safe, stressing that with the report that no life was lost, “I am now convinced more than ever before that Enugu State is truly in the hands of God.”
He sympathized with the victims and promised to take immediate action to ameliorate the pains and replace the burnt transformer for the people of the area to continue to enjoy power supply. The governor, therefore, directed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to commence action in that regard.
Earlier, the State Fire Officer, Okwudili Oha, disclosed that the fire outbreak was massive, pointing out that it would have done serious damage if not for the quick intervention of the State Fire Service.
Mr Oha thanked the residents for their support and cooperation and particularly the governor for equipping and repositioning the establishment, which he said made the work easy for them.
He, therefore, appealed to the public to take precautionary measures and be vigilant to avert further fire outbreak in the state, especially in this period of Harmattan.
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