Wednesday, February 8, 2017 11:46 pm
The Imo State Fire Service says that it recorded 54 fire incidences between Dec. 13, 2016 and Feb. 7, 2017.
The state Director of the service, Mr Japhet Okoroafor, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) in Owerri on Wednesday.
Okoroafor said that one person died, seven people seriously injured, while property worth N500 million were destroyed.
He said his men saved property valued more than two billion Naira from being destroyed by fire during the period under review.
The director explained that the death and injuries were recorded in the fire incident that occurred at Ogbugba Str. Owerri, before the 2016 Christmas festivity.
He said that those injured wete still receiving treatments in the hospital.
Okoroafor, who assumed office as the state director on Dec. 13, 2016 attributed the success recorded within the short period of his tenure to support from the state government.
“Since I assumed office as the director, we always have diesel in our fire fighting machines, and this has aided my men to promptly attend to emergency calls.
“Our prompt response resulted to our saving property valued at more than N2 billion since Dec.13, 2016,” he said.
Okoroafor expressed regrets that in spite of the population of Owerri, only one functional fire fighting vehicle was currently servicing the Owerri head office, while the total staff strength across the state was 54.
“These 54 staff are working across the seven fire stations located at; Okigwe, Orlu, Aboh Mbaise, Mbano, Ideato, Government House Owerri,mand Owerri Fire Service headquarters, on Okigwe Road.
“In an ideal situation, we ordinarily supposed to have at least 200 workers.
“We are equally faced with inadequate operational and utility vehicles because in the headquarters alone, we need up to four operational trucks and five utility vans to be able to attend to the four core services.
“The most challenging problem currently faced by the Service is the disconnection of the electricity line at the state headquarters, Owerri by officials of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), which affects the pumping of water.
“Due to the disconnection, our men now buy water they use to attend to fire cases from public sources, the standby generator we have is currently faulty, ” he said.
He stressed the need for corporate bodies and well to do individuals in the state to assist in funding the activities of the service for more effective and efficient operations.
“It is not possible for only government to fund the fire service, corporate bodies and well to do individuals in Imo should come up to support our operations, as it obtains in other places,” he said.