By Stanley Okehie
But for the timely intervention of officers of Imo State fire service and concerted efforts of youths of Amaram Street in Owerri, fire would have razed a-one storey at No. 23 Amaram Street.
A-two-storey and over 10 lock-up stalls both beside the one storey, would have also been affected by the fire incident.
Even the initial efforts of Imo fire fighters could not quench the raging inferno until a third water tanker arrived the scene after the first and second had been emptied.
Properties worth millions of naira belonging to residents living upstairs were burnt to smithereens, whereas those living downstairs were lucky to have survived the incident because of the timely response of the fire fighters.
Though the cause of the fire is not yet clear as at press time, a source attributed it to a spark as a result of poor electrical connection in one of the rooms.
According to an eyewitness, “the fire started in one of the rooms upstairs at about 8.30pm, Saturday, and spread to other parts of the building within seconds.”
The eyewitness said a tenant in his late 50s climbed a handrail infront of the building and jumped to a waiting youths on the ground, sustaining minor leg injuries.
“This he did, tying only wrapper, in an effort to escape the raging inferno”, the eyewitness said.
The witness also said a female tenant, supposedly a mother, was rolling on the floor outside the building after efforts to bring out her properties failed due to the mysterious fire.
The witness however commended officers of Imo State Fire service for their timely response and prayed Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma to ensure that those who lost their properties to the inferno were adequately compensated.