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Panic As Fire Guts Fed Secretariat, Asaba

Workers at the Federal Secretariat, Asaba, were, yesterday morning, thrown into confusion, following a fire outbreak in the complex.

The secretariat complex houses most annexe offices of the federal ministries, departments and agencies in the state.

A federal fire service officer trying to put out the fire fell from the second floor of the secretariat complex. The firefighter, who had a fractured left hand, was rushed to the hospital.

It was gathered that the raging inferno reportedly overwhelmed the fire fighting machinery stationed at the complex, but reinforcement was mobilized from the state fire services.

However, it took the combined efforts of firemen from the federal and state fire services to ensure the fire did not escalate.

Though the cause of the fire was unknown, a reliable source, however, disclosed that the fire started from the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, office located on the 2nd floor as a result of an electrical fault.

The source, who pleaded anonymity, said that the fire started at 7:02am, lamenting that everything in the NYSC office got burnt.

Speaking on the fire, the state Coordinator of NYSC, Mrs Olutayo Samuel, said everything in their section was destroyed.

She said: ”What happened is very unfortunate. I got a call that our office was on fire and I quickly rushed there, I don’t know how the fire gutted the office. Nobody can ascertain exactly the cause of the fire”.

“Virtually, everything  there got burnt, everything in the office got damaged. All to file documents burnt to aches but we have a back-up. You know this is the technology age, so everything is in our system”.

“Coincidentally, we took some of our systems to the camp, so there will be no setback because we have them in the system”.

“I cannot cost it now, but it is colossal damage. But by the Grace of God, there is no life lost because that is the most important thing. I feel good because whatever damage will be replaced but if life had been lost, we couldn’t have replaced it”.