Three killed, houses razed in Borno IDP camp fire

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Dogara Bitrus, Maiduguri

A child and two female adults lost their lives in fire incidents that also destroyed about 600 dwelling units at the Custom House internally displaced persons’ camp about four kilometres from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Eyewitnesses told The PUNCH that the first inferno started around 8.30am on Tuesday, while the second occurred around 11pm and consumed parts of the camp.

The camp houses about 14,250 IDPs from the Dikwa, Konduga and Mafa local government areas of the state.

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A displaced person from the Dikwa Local Government Area, Bulama Mgumshe, narrated how the fire started, “One of the women was cooking in her tent around 8.30am on Tuesday when the fire started; it razed some hurts but it was immediately extinguished by the fire service, security personnel and other volunteers at the camp.

“The second fire started around 11pm. We are not sure as to what caused the fire outbreak, but it was more hazardous than the first outbreak.”

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Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, the Director-General, Borno State Emergency Management Agency, Yabawa Kolo, said property worth millions of naira were lost to the inferno.

“The fire was caused by domestic cooking in the thatched hurts. A small girl and two married women were killed by the fire. It also destroyed a lot of property belonging to the IDPs, including foodstuffs, clothes, mattresses and other basic necessities,” he said.

Kolo stated that mattresses and food condiments would be distributed to the affected persons as a short term solution, while efforts would be made to ameliorate the loss suffered by the victims.

Copyright PUNCH.

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