It has been reported that lots of properties that are worth millions of naira have been destroyed in a fire outbreak in Bauchi.
The properties were last night destroyed in an inferno that gutted Bababa Shopping Complex, the biggest in Bauchi metropolis, located around the Wunti market.
The PUNCH learnt that the fire started in the early hours of Saturday as combined firefighters from the State Fire Service, Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, and the Federal Polytechnic Fire Services fought to control the fire from spreading to other adjoining buildings.
Although it was yet to be ascertained as of press time, the number of shops destroyed but the shopping complex which has no fewer than 100 shops and stalls was said to have been severely burnt down.
The cause of the fire could also not be ascertained but there are insinuations that it may have been caused as a result of a power surge when the Jos Electricity Distribution Company restored power supply, thereby causing sparks from some of the shops.
Speaking on the incident, the Public Relations Officer, Bauchi State Fire Service, Abubakar Bala, told our correspondent that the fire started about 12.45 am on Saturday.
He said, “Our men responded to the emergency calls and rushed to the scene for rescue operations but unfortunately, the shops upstairs were all affected.”
Asked about the exact number of shops destroyed, he said, “for now, we don’t have the exact number because our men are still there counting and trying to have the value of goods destroyed and those saved in the shopping complex belonging to Alhaji Labaran Bababa.”
Bala said that the combined team were able to contain the fire from spreading adding that “there was no loss of life because it happened at midnight when everyone had gone home.”
Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, who was also at the scene, joined others as soon as he got the news, to participate in the rescue efforts.
The Governor empathised with the victims of the incident.