Hundreds of persons have been rendered homeless, following late night fire outbreak that burnt houses in Egwurugwu Street in Rumueprirkom Community, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
It was gathered that the fire, which started at about 9pm eve of Christmas, was allegedly caused by a mentally deranged woman resident in one of the affected houses.
On a visit to the incident scene same night, Daily Sun gathered that the houses, which were mostly batcher, gutted fire, when the mentally sick woman ignorantly allegedly ignited fire very close to adulterated fuel and kerosine stored in her house.
Daily Sun gathered that when the fire started, neighbours in the area, including the residents of the houses tried to put off the fire, but all their efforts failed.
A storey block building belonging to a Deeper Life Bible Church family, who travelled for the church Christmas retreat, was razed.
A popular church in the area, Grace Apostolic Faith, was also burnt down by the fire.
Some victims of the fire disclosed that about four years ago, a similar incident occurred in the same place during same Christmas eve period.
They lamented that the current fire incident was caused by a mentally sick woman in one of the houses in the large compound.
They also cried out that they had lost so much property worth millions of naira in the fire incident.
One of the victims identified as Gloria, a native of Egbeda in Emohua LGA, lamented: “I live in the burning house. I did not remove any of my properties. I went to the bathroom to take my bath only to come out and saw my room was on fire.
“When I heard the shout of fire I rushed out of the bathroom went straight inside my room not minding the fire, entired inside and collected the money I sold for the day in my business.
“I even bought Omo N200 to put off the fire, no way. My younger brothers travelled home today, so nobody helped me. I did not remove any of our properties, we lost everything in the fire.
“The fire was caused by one of our neighbours that is mentally sick. They sell Kerosine and fuel for survival. But, they know that this houses are batcher and should have removed it from there to a safer place. But, they kept it inside one of the rooms. The woman mistakenly caused the fire incident”, she lamented.
Another victim, John Monday, expressed: “We thank God nobody died in the incident. We may have lost all our belongings in the fire. But, we are alive. I did not remove anything from my room”.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Fire Service was also prompt on contact by residents of the area.
It was gathered that after about two hours, the fire was contain by firefighters at about 11:17pm, thereby preventing the fire from extending to other block buildings on the street.