By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA—STUDENTS of the United Evangelical High School, Aba, Abia State, yesterday, escaped death as fire gutted two hostels and consumed properties worth over N10 million in the institution.
Eyewitnesses told Vanguard that the fire, which started from one of the hostels, spread to the other and consumed over 150 mattresses, books, bedding, cupboards, clothing and other properties belonging to the students.
Vanguard gathered that the fire would have spread to adjoining buildings but for the timely intervention of the men of the Abia State Fire Service who were alerted on the incident.
“The cause of the fire is still unknown. We thank God that there was nobody in the hostel when the fire started. 0ver 100 students live in the hostels. We noticed huge smoke oozing from the hostel and raised alarm. One of the people living in the compound called the fire service. Before they came, the two hostels had been burnt.
“But they were able to prevent the fire from spreading to other buildings in the school,” an eyewitness said.
It was learnt that there would have been loss of lives, had students not gone on midterm holiday. An official of the school who declined to have her name in print, said the students had been provided with alternative accommodation.
Principal of the school, Elder Chibuzo Nwankwo, who confirmed the incident, however declined further comment on the development.
Secretary of the United Evangelical Church,Aba Area Conference, who owns the school, Rev. Udo Chigbu, said he was away on official duty.