A fire has gutted five shops and a residential building at Cement City, Obajana, the host town of cement production in Lokoja council area of Kogi.
Witnesses speak of a ravaging inferno that burnt buildings to the ground.
No death has been reported but two people are said to have sustained various degrees of burns have been hospitalised.
One shop owner, Chukwuebuka Austin, said the fire started from the shop of a neigbhour who deals in refilling gas.
“I heard that our neighbour came to the shop in the morning and saw that one of the cylinders was leaking. Before he could do anything, one of the cylinders began to emit fire. Rather than call for help immediately, he was trying to put out the fire by himself,” he said.
He said the neighbour raised an alarm when he couldn’t control the fire.
A gas cylinder exploded shortly after and ravaged the entire shop.
“I was still at home when someone called me that my shop was burning. When I reached there, I couldn’t go in, because there was no way I could salvage anything from the fire,” Austin said.
Another shop owner, Aliu Zaki said all his life’s work was consumed by the fire.
An early sympathiser of the victims was Kingsley Fanwo, the commissioner for information who, while returning from an official engagement.
He promised that the state government will look into their plight and assist where necessary.#