by crossriverwatch admin
An early evening inferno on Tuesday night, at about 7pm in Obudu Cross River State razed an entire block of shops along Uquart Street in Obudu market.
Eyewitnesses told crossriverwatch that residents just watched helplessly as the fire razed the entire building opposite the meat shops at Obudu main market and everything inside to ashes. There were no reports of human fatalities.
The building which houses over fifteen fully packed shops that sell different household items including generator sets, deep freezers, provisions, foot wears, clothes, food stuffs, hair dressing saloon etc. was completely razed and non of the traders was able to rescue any of their items.
One neighbor who said she witnessed the incident said: “We really were not sure what caused the fire but we heard it was an electrical fault that resulted from wrong connection from the cut out switch. We learnt that was what caused the explosion”.
Neighbors who rushed early to the scene of the fire tried to put off the fire with water and other rudimentary methods to no avail.
Crossriverwatch gathered that all attempts to reach the Fire Service in Obudu were futile as many of the commercial motorcyclists present who rushed to the Fire station to inform them were told that the station and fire men had closed duty for the day.
When crossriverwatch visited the scene of the inferno this morning, the affected traders who were wailing called on government to come to their rescue and help them to begin again.
One of the traders who cried uncontrollably told crossriverwatch that “I just returned from the Market in Onitsha the day before yesterday. I don’t know where I am going to start from. My life is ruined. Who will help us to stand again? We are crying to government to come and help us to at least be able to begin again”.
Crossriverwatch checks at the Obudu Fire Station reveal a dilapidated fire station that lacks both the capacity and manpower to deal with any fire incident in the town.
Ranging from abandoned dysfunctional vehicles, a bushy environment and alcohol reeking personnel, the fire station looked anything apart from a place that can deal with emergencies.
One of the firemen who spoke with crossriverwatch on anonymity said; “We just come to work if we are on duty that is all. There is nothing in this place than can deal with fire emergencies. We don’t have both operational and communication vehicles to respond promptly to such situations.
“If government wants us to work, they know our needs. For now government has not recognized the need for our work so they don’t care about giving us the necessary tools to work with.” He said.
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