By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA—A cleric, Pastor Clement Orji, who presides over the Church of God Seventh Day, Aba District, lost property worth over N3 million to fire at Ahiaba community in Obingwa council area of Abia State.
The inferno, which started at about 12 noon, consumed the living room, clothing, books, bedroom, computer systems, television sets, air conditioners, certificates and other household items belonging to the priest.
Eyewitnesses said the inferno could have spread to adjoining buildings but for the timely intervention of officers of Abia State Fire Service, who stormed the area, as the Priest was away at the time of the incident.
Narrating his ordeal to Vanguard, Pastor Orji said he was away for a burial when he got a call that his residence was on fire. He lamented that all he laboured to get in life was consumed in the inferno.
The cleric’s wife, Lois, blamed the incident on a power surge and expressed gratitude to God that her aged mother, who was sleeping at the time of the incident, was rescued with injuries.
Her words: “There has been no power supply to the area for over five days. As soon as power was restored on Friday, the building caught fire and razed all we had toiled for in life.
“Our clothing, certificates, television set, air conditioners and other household items in the bedroom, sitting room and kitchen were burnt to ashes. We thank God that no life was lost.”
Efforts to get the reaction of the Director of the Abia State Fire Service, Mr. Victor Gbaruko, proved abortive.
However, a fire officer at the Fire Service Station, Aba, urged the public to switch off all electrical appliances before leaving their homes.