By Charles Nwabardi
Fire from a candle has destroyed about 30 makeshift houses, goods and property worth millions of naira around Okwelle axis of Mile 2 in Port Harcourt.
SECURITY gathered that a female resident of the area failed to put out a lit candle, which later developed into an inferno around 6:30am.
Scores of youths in the area used water and detergent to battle the inferno before firefighters came to the rescue.
Chukwuma Atamkpo, member of the Port Harcourt City Local Government Area (PHALGA)) security watch, said he saw the fire while on his duty post.
He said: “We were on our duty post and we discovered a flame of fire, then we decided to come here with our boys. We asked what happened, they said at about 6am that somebody lit a candle and because the place is batcher (makeshift), the place got burnt. That is why you see what is going on here. I am here with my boys to try to see how we can stop this fire. We also saw some fire servicemen. I directed them to pass through Okwelle. They (firefighters) are still tackling the fire.”
A resident, Christian Alali, said the fire was aided by the materials used in constructing the houses, adding that, “You know the whole place is made up of batcher. So before they could fight the fire it escalated to the roof level and affected other buildings. If not for the help of the security men and youths around even before the fire service from state government came it would have been worse.”
A female resident said she lost all her belongings as she pleaded with Governor Wike to come to their rescue.

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