By Godwin Edeh, Joy Odewu and Sarah Jila
A paper warehouse situated at No. 2 Alpha street, behind Zenith Bank Plc, in the High Level area of Makurdi, Benue State has been gutted by fire.
The Voice investigation gathered that, the fire which started at about 12:35pm on Saturday, took the combined efforts of both residents and men of the Federal Fire Service three (3) hours to bring under control.
An eye witness, Mr Emmanuel Ifeanyi who spoke to The Voice said, it took the efforts of both the men of the Federal Fire Service and neighbours who put up spirited efforts to prevent the fire from spreading to other buildings which according to him, could have amounted to collateral damage. He appreciated the quick response of the men of the fire service.
In a remark, Mr Donald Shom who shares boundary with the affected warehouse, thanked God for the timely arrival of both sympathisers and firemen who brought the inferno under control but could not ascertain the source of the fire.
Meanwhile, Director of the warehouse, Mr Ikemefuna Okamba, told our correspondents that, he came in the morning of Saturday and carried out his routine work of gathering and sorting out the pieces of papers for onward transportation to Star Paper industry in Enugu which usually converted them to toiletries when he received a phone call that his warehouse has been gutted by fire.
Okamba further told The Voice that he lost the equivalent of two trailer trucks of convertible paper valued at N15 million to the inferno. He however, stated that he could not ascertain the source of the fire saying, “we don’t use electricity or generator in warehouse due to inflammable nature of papers.”
When contacted, the Benue State Public Relations Officer of the Federal Fire Service, Mr Jessy Omogbai, confirmed the incident but could not ascertain the cause of the fire stating that, investigation is on-going.