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Balck Friday At Rex Lawson Street

… As Fire Kills 1, Injures 1, Guts Properties


It was a dark day for residents of Borikiri in the Old Port Harcourt Township, as they witnessed a fire outbreak at about 11pm Tuesday August 22, 2023 at a dump site in Rex Lawson Street.

The dump site, which was an abode for illegal bunkering activities, was raised down by the fire leaving one person dead, another injured and properties and goods worth millions of Naira destroyed.

Harrison, a resident disclosed to newsmen that upon his arrival, he learnt that the explosion was as a result of the illegal bunkering activities popularly known as “kpo-fire” which was ongoing, while a neighbour was cooking at the same time.

He also revealed that the settlement was small and the houses were very close to each other, hence a section of one residential building was connected to a storehouse where the locally refined products were kept.

“Both the owner of the house and the kpo-fire people were working, the owner of the house was cooking and the kpo-fire vendors were also filling and refilling their products”, he explained.

Harry further revealed that the incident occured when the owner of the house was about to put out the fire and the flames ignited the illegal products at the dump site, which affected as the two workers who were there.

“In the process, the flame caught up with the two guys, they screamed for help, neighbours came to their rescue but in the process, one died, and the other sustained injuries”.

Harry also told newsmen that the good thing was that the dump site was close to the river bank and it aided in the mitigation of the explosion.

“So men, boys, women and girls resorted to using water from the river, adding detergent and liquid soap to it. The fire burnt houses and properties, but would have been even more severe if the neighbours hadn’t intervened”, he said.

Efforts to reach authorities of the community, or the owner of the dump site for relevant information proved abortive as at press time.

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