Properties and goods worth millions of naira were razed following an early morning fire outbreak at the popular Roky Fella Night Club along Udoji Street, Kpirikpiri, Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital.
Some of the properties and goods destroyed by the inferno include refrigerators, television sets, air conditioners, other electronic gadgets, musical equipment, chairs, tables, assorted drinks, and other goods at the shop.
The fire incident, which was said to have started at about 5:30 AM, lasted for over an hour before the intervention of the Ebonyi State Fire Service, which arrived at the scene and was able to extinguish the fire.
An eyewitness, Mr. Uche Ogbodo, who spoke to LEADERSHIP, attributed the fire outbreak to a power surge, adding that staff of the club house, who were still sleeping inside the building before the incident, all came out unhurt but expressed regret that all the facilities in the night club were burnt down.
“To the best of my knowledge, the incident could be as a result of a power surge because the club had closed early this morning at about 4:30 AM, and the outbreak started around 5:30 AM.
“At about 5:45 AM, we observed thick fire and smoke coming out from the night club and alerted other neighbours who called the attention of fire servicemen, who helped to control the fire from extending to other buildings.
“The incident caused serious panic and tension within the area following the late arrival of the Fire Service men. Residents resorted to self-help by fetching water from a nearby borehole and mixing it with detergent to quench the fire, but the fire was uncontrollable.
“But I must commend the firemen because their arrival, though not so early, saved the situation because a lot of houses within the area would have been affected. They came prepared. They came with three tanker loads of water and there was no excuse for a shortage of water.
In an interview with LEADERSHIP, the manager of the Night Club, Mr. Chidi Chukwuemeka, said that the staff of the club called him at about 6 AM that a fire outbreak had gutted the clubhouse, and he had to rush to the place, adding that on getting there, the entire building had been razed down.
The shop owner, a makeup artist who spoke to LEADERSHIP on the grounds of anonymity, said that goods, equipment, and properties destroyed in her shop are worth over five million naira and expressed shock over the incident.
Some of the staff of the nightclub who were seen weeping uncontrollably expressed the regret that many of them have been thrown out of job adding that with the facility burnt down, their source of livelihood has been destroyed by the inferno and appealed to governments to assist.
The Chief Fire Officer, Ebonyi State, Mr. Raphael Ibiam explained that they got a distress call at about 6:30 am and on arriving at the scene, a lot of damage had been caused by the fire.
We weren’t called on time and I immediately mobilised and we went to the scene, unfortunately, the fire had burnt down the entire clubhouse. We did our best to prevent the fire from extending to other nearby houses.