From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Over N10m worth of property were razed yesterday at the Diocesan Cathedral, Methodist Church Nigeria, Uzuakoli Diocese, Bende Local Government Area of Abia State.
The fire it was gathered, started by 2am, at Dodd’s Memorial Cathedral, Uzuakoli after the end of a night vigil by some congregants.
A witness said the inferno destroyed property of the Church and important documents kept inside the Bishop’s office and another adjoining office.
Speaking on the incident, the Bishop of Uzuakoli Methodist Diocese, Rt Rev (Dr) Anyanwu James Alozie lamented the big loss his Diocese suffered in the inferno.
The Bishop who conducted Journalists round the burnt building, noted that the fire started at 2am as a result of power surge which occured at the Bishop’s office, after power was restored in the area.
Bishop Alozie noted that different electronic appliances and various land documents as well as church registers were burnt to ashes.
He added that gold plates and cups used for Holy Communion and other valuables worth about N10m also went up in flames.
“Everything in my office is completely burnt. Electronics, important documents, files and registers were all burnt . It was the efforts of church members and people from this community that stopped the fire from spreading to the alter and into the entire church hall”, the Bishop said.
Bishop Alozie who appreciated God that no life was list during the fire outbreak, thanked the members of his church and natives of Uzuakoli for bringing the inferno under control.
He appealed to Abia State government, corporate organisations and notable individuals to assist his church in replacing the destroyed property.
The Presbyter in charge of Dodds Memorial Cathedral, Very Rev Chibuike Joseph recalled how the inferno happened.
“We just finished our night prayers and we were resting when suddenly, there was power surge and there was fire from the Bishop’s office from where it spread to the other office.”
He said they did everything to stop the fire befy members of the community came and assisted the church members in overcoming the fire eventually.
A veteran Journalist and indigene of Uzuakoli, Tony Igbokwe who spoke on the inferno, described it as devastating.