Properties worth millions of naira were destroyed when a fire gutted a two-storey building in the Rumuomoi axis of the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
It was gathered that the fire started at about 3:35 pm on Saturday from the top floor of the building which houses a set of flats.
Though the cause of the inferno could not be ascertained, it reported destroyed valuables and personal effects belonging to tenants, as the fire forced all occupants to run helter-skelter, while some made frantic efforts to see if they could salvage some property.
An eyewitness said those on the first floor were able to remove some valuables before the fire spread to other areas.
The eyewitness identified simply as Confidence, who streamed the incident live on her social media page expressed dismay that firefighters arrived late despite the distress calls put across to them by residents of the area early enough.
She noted that the fire would not have had much impact had the fire service responded early enough.
Some residents and sympathizers, who were seen around the building complained that the fire truck hadn’t enough water even after the officials arrived at the scene of the incident.
Two ladies who are occupants of the building were sobbing uncontrollably, stating that they could not rescue any of their belongings, even as they solicited assistance from public-spirited individuals.
It was gathered that officials of the Federal Fire Service however battled and were able to put out the fire, though severe damage had been done.
When contacted, The Commander of the Federal Service in Rivers State, Abdullahi Alfa, confirmed the incident to our correspondent on Sunday evening.
Alfa however said despite some initial challenges when his men arrived, they were able to bring the fire under control and expressed happiness that no fatality was recorded.
“It was a two-storey building. Our men successfully put out the fire. When we were called we tried to respond as quickly as we could and we did justice. There was no casualty,” he stated in a terse response.