By Stanley Okehie
A mysterious fire has destroyed about eight lock-up stalls located along the front gate of Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Imo State.
The fire incident which happened on 16th of January 2020 lasted for well over two hours.
Efforts by officers of Imo State Fire Service could not quench the raging inferno until everything in the shops burnt to ashes.
Checks by Nigerian Newsguide revealed that the fire was as a result of poor electrical connection in one of the shops where the owner uses gas cylinder to bake bread and cakes.
A shop owner Miss Stella Oluchi Arungwa who deals on assorted bags and clothes said she lost everything in her shop to the fire incident. Oluchi who also runs a business center and bakery on the same shop, pegged the cost of items in her shop at about 2million naira, regretting that she had a week before the fire incident, paid the sum of N250,000 to her landlord as rent.
Narrating her ordeal when Nigerian Newsguide visited the scene, Oluchi who could not hold back her tears said;
“My name is Stella Oluchi Arungwa. I am 29 years old. I hail from Abia State. I studied Office Technology and Management (OTM). I just graduated last year and am waiting to go for National Youth Service this year.
“My business name is “Exceptional Cakes and Event Palace”. I started hustling before I got admission. I was selling Teddy bears by the roadside, just infront of my shop. I used to pay N24,000 per year as rent and later it was increased to N36,000, until I raised money to pay for this shop and pay my school fees too. This is my second year in this shop. But now, everything is gone. I sell assorted bags and clothes. I also run a business center in this shop. My brand new printing machine I bought N400,000, burnt, my oven and deep freezer also burnt. Nothing came out of the shop and I just paid N250,000 to my landlord a week ago as shop rent. Goods in this shop are worth more than N2million. Everything, all gone in a twinkle of an eye. I can’t even do my clearance again because I am left with nothing.”
Oluchi who released her phone line as 07038355478, however appealed to Imo State Government and public spirited individuals to come to her rescue before she commits suicide.