By Godwin Anene
An unidentified man has been reportedly burnt to death during a visit to a girlfriend’s house following a midnight fire which gutted the makeshift buildings at Oginigba community in Obio Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers State.
The incident which occurred on Saturday midnight left properties of residents destroyed.
However, the woman whom the deceased visited had fled the community following the death of her man friend.
It was gathered that the affected buildings were among the ones built in Oginigba community waterfront.
The deceased was burnt beyond recognition as residents blamed the incident on the negligence of a resident of the area who reportedly plugged a ring boil.
A resident of the area, Grace Inyand said many of them escaped without being able save any of their personal belongings.
Inyand said, “I do my business here. I finished after 11pm, went home to have my bath. After eating, I heard shouting. I came out and saw fire has engulfed the apartment where it started. I ran back into my apartment. I could rush out my son. All my property burnt.
Another victim simply identified as Bisong said, “We suspect someone plugged and left a ring boiler heating up in his apartment. We tried quenching the fire, but we couldn’t do much to save the situation. All my property burnt. I am left with only the clothes I am putting on.”
A community leader in the neighborhood said, “I called the DPO. No response. I called and reported to the SO. I have over six or eight firefighting numbers. I called almost all. Only one or two who responded said they can’t access the spot with their vehicles.
“My community boys around took to self help. If not for them, the the fire would have affected a nearby storey buildings and more surrounding properties. It was when I got to the scene at dawn that I saw a man burnt dead, beyond recognition.
“They said he was a guest to the girl who lives in that apartment. The girl had escaped and ran away. I don’t know the landlord of the affected structures, but I know the water from belongs to some persons in the community. They don’t live there. They may not know what happened.”