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80-year-old woman escapes death as fire guts Catholic priest’s house in Agulu, Anambra State

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80-year-old woman escapes death as fire guts Catholic priest's house in Agulu, Anambra State

Property worth over N100millioon was reportedly lost in a fire outbreak that gutted the family house of a Catholic priest in Ukunu village, Agulu, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra state.

An 80-year old woman reportedly at home when the incident happened, narrowly escaped unhurt, while the cleric, Rev. Father Joseph Merry Okafor was said to be on a missionary work in China.

The fire, allegedly caused by power surge escalated before the arrival of fire fighters and neighbors who assisted in extinguishing it.

Speaking to newsmen in Onitsha, the priest’s elder brother, Mr. Hyacinth Okafor attributed the cause of the inferno to high voltage that sparked off from one of the flats, regretting that efforts to salvage the property were unsuccessful.

He listed some of the burnt items to include certificates, books, over 6 million in hard currency and other valuables.

He said, “I was in Onitsha when I was called around 8am that our family house was on fire and before I came, the entire building has been burnt to ashes. I saw the fire service men but they could not do anything because by the time they arrived the entire properties were burnt to ashes.

“The house was built in triangular form with about four flats and each flat of four-bed room, has a car park. We lost over N100 million in the fire incident.

“My mother told me that she heard a sound like that of a fallen mango and as she hurried to the mango tree inside our compound to pick it, she discovered that it was the electric cables that sparked off fire from one of the flats and she started shouting for help.

“Incidentally, there was nobody in the house when it happened except my mother out of seven of us because it was a market day (Afor) and Chrism mass was being observed too.

“Nothing was salvaged from the house because most of the rooms were under lock and key. I had to bring my mother to stay with me because her blood pressure was being triggered by sympathizers trouping in to have a glimpse of the burnt property.”

Okafor appealed to the state governor, Willie Obiano and other spirited individuals and organisations to assist the family in reconstructing the burnt house.

Profile: From Ozuitem, Bende Local government Area of Anambra State. Political science (B. Sc) from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka & Business Administration (Diploma) from the University of Calabar. Email him at elekwachinedum@yahoo.com

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