The Delta State Commissioner, Bureau for Special Duties, Pastor Powell Ojogho, has described the recent incidences of fire outbreaks in several parts of the state as worrisome and cautioned Deltans, both indigenes and residents to exhibit greater attention and caution in actions that are likely to lead to fire outbreaks, especially in this dry season.
Pastor Ojogho, who was addressing newsmen in his office in Asaba, spoke against the backdrop of the fire outbreaks that occurred at the Ogbe-Ogonogo market and the Oghara Teaching Hospital, as well as the near fire outbreak that almost broke out in a filling station in Asaba recently, adding that while the men of the Fire Service responded promptly and gallantly to the emergency situation, the loss of properties could however have been reduced drastically, if some precautionary measures and necessary preventive action had been taken when the fire broke.
Pastor Ojogho said that it took the intervention of the hospital staff, State Fire Service Authority (DSFSA), and residents to stop the fire which had initially been overwhelming, but had been brought under control as the authority had requested for additional hands to stop the fire.
He said that fire outbreaks were becoming rampant in the state from the midnight New Year outbreak in Ogbeogonogo Market, Bonsack and that of the Teaching Hospital, which he said were all linked with bush burning from either farmers, smokers, fireworks and others knowing full that there is harmatan.
While warning that all car owners to have fire extinguishers, landlords should have exit routes in their houses, have at least the six kg fire extinguishers to combat fire outbreak anytime, stop using fake wires for electrical connections in their houses and warned all civil servants to always switch off all electrical appliances after closing from work.
“People spend millions to buy cars but could not buy N2, 000 fire extinguishers, built million of naira houses but could not buy N20, 000 fire extinguisher.
“The owner of the saw-mill complained he has lost machines worth over N3 million when the mill was on fire, but he could not provide fire extinguisher of N20, 000, saying he left it in the office,” Ojogho said.
The Delta Special Duties Commissioner, who cautioned cigarette smokers from dropping the butts anywhere, equally warned against the unnecessary use of bangers which are carelessly dropped on dry grass and on other inflammable substances which can easily ignite and be spread by the wind, resulting fire outbreaks that can cause plenty of damage to lives and property.
Ojogho said that the state government has already set up the modalities to engage fire marshals in the state to ensure houses, shops, offices, farms and others to imbibe the use of fire extinguishers and control bush burning even if it requires arrest of violators especially those indulged in the discriminate use of fireworks.
He also said that the state government was thinking of enforcing the need for every home to have a fire extinguisher as this would help to prevent much damage in the event of any fire outbreak during this dry season.