Not less than 20 families were rendered homeless on Sunday after a cooking gas cylinder exploded, leading to an inferno that consumed a living quarters made of shanties in the Ugboroke area of Uvwie council area of Delta state. Sources told The Nation that the fire started at about 3pm on Sunday when the girlfriend of one of the tenants in the stretch of shanties was preparing a meal, but was unaware that the gas cylinder was leaking gas, a situation that led to the explosion. Although no death or physical injury was recorded while the fire burned, as virtually all occupants of the living quarters were said to be in the church while their house burned, most of the residents lost all their belongings to it. Narrating the much he knew about the incident, a resident of the neighborhood, who spoke under condition of anonymity, said the cooking gas cylinder exploded when the girlfriend of one of the tenants in the compound was preparing meal, not knowing that the gas was leaking. “Before the girl came out from the house, everywhere was on fire. Her boyfriend asked her lock the door and they both ran away. By this time, some of the other tenants were still in church”, the source said. Some of the victims who spoke to The Nation at the scene of incident said they did not know the cause of the fire. One of the victims, Mrs. Enohor Obukevwo, while narrating her plight said “I don’t know how the fire started. I lost everything to the fire. Only this wrapper you see on my chest is what I came out with. Mr. Governor, please help us. Come to our rescue.”
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Another victim, Mr Barrack Odjere, a 68 year old man, said he returned from the church to meet the inferno, saying “all my properties burnt to ashes. I have no place to stay now with my family. I want government to come and help us because we are homeless.” Another victim of the of the fire, simply identified as Mama Israel said “I sweep church before I enter morning. Everything for house burn finish. The only thing I manage to rescue is this small bible I came back from church with.” Another victim, a pregnant woman with a child in her hand, Rose Anthony, said she only came out from the incident with the wrapper on her body. “Government should help me with accommodation and settle me.” It took the prompt intervention of the Delta State Fire Service Department to quell the fire and save same from spreading to other buildings.