Fire outbreaks hits Rivers 3 times in 72 hours as fire fighters run for their lives | NN NEWS
…Fire fighters escape mob action at Bonny/Bille jetty; …Govt to investigate causes – Commissioner
Property worth billions of naira have been lost, as fire outbreaks occurred at three different locations in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in less than 72 hours, The Sun reports.
At the weekend, residential houses in Isiokpo Street, D/Line, in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area and Zenith Bank Plc, located in Rumuokoro, Obio/Akpor LGA, were razed by fire.
On Monday, the third fire incident occurred at the Bonny/Bille Jetty and burnt several boats and destroyed goods and property.
Daily Sun gathered that the three fire incidents were caused by the unadulterated fuel and kerosene popularly called “kpo-fire”.
However, unconfirmed number of casualty was reported in the Bonny/Bille incident. Some eye witness say about 10 persons had lost their lives to the fire prompting a violent reaction by the mob on sighting the Fire Service.
The Federal Fire Service said its officials escaped mob action at the Bonny/Bille jetty, when they responded to contain the escalation.
Commander of the Federal Fire Service in Rivers State, Abdullahi Audu Alfa, disclosed this to journalists.
He condemned the act, saying efforts must be made to sensitize residents on how to respond to emergencies.
Meanwhile, the fire outbreak at the Bonny/Bille jetty is yet to be put out at the time of filing the report, several hours after it started from a market boat with passengers onboard.
Eyewitnesses disclosed that the boat carried food items and illegally refined petroleum products.
Meanwhile, Rivers State Commissioner for Special Duties, Emeka Onowu, who spoke at the D/Line, where the first fire incident occurred, has expressed concerns about the incidents and frowned at the activities of illegal oil dealers.
Onowu urged Rivers residents to assist the state government with relevant information to checkmate the activities of illegal oil dealers, saying that government could do everything for the citizenry.
He said: “The problem we are having is that, I think the citizens do not having confidence in security agencies again. If not, most of them are scared that if they lay complains of such nature, tomorrow, somebody would sabotage them and reveal the source to them (dealers). They are scared to speak out.
“Look at this environment, look at the people living in this environment. You won’t tell me that people living in this environment do not know that something of this nature was going on here.
“Please, I want to plead with Rivers State people, government cannot do everything for you. It is not possible. No government can do that. Help us in you own little way. Give us information. The Ministry of Special Duties is there; the Ministry of Energy is there. Even if you don’t want people to know, write quietly and send to us.
“Let me make this clear to the public, so that you will know; no state government regulates the production of petroleum. Nobody. It is only exclusive list of the president.
“If somebody can conceive this idea and can do something like this and refined, why can’t Federal Government encourage these boys than importing fuel. Nobody justifies the activities of these boys. Look at what they have caused, destroying property worth billions of naira. And you are putting government in tight corner.
“We are not the one that kept the fuel in your compound. We (government) are not the one that kept illegal bunkering in your community. If you had raised the alarm to us, we have taken the decision before this time.”
He disclosed that the Ministry was setting up a committee to investigate the causes of the fire incident, noting that the fire outbreaks in Rumuokoro and D/Line were similar.
“We (government) want to know where this product is coming from. If we can find out where this particular product is coming from, then, we can pick up from there. So, we are going to set up a committee and work in synergy with the Ministry of Ernegy. Again, I beg the masses, do not be scared to speak.”
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