Alhaji Dogara Dalhatu, the Chief Fire Officer of Nasarawa State, has said that property worth N61.6 million was lost to fire disasters in the first half of 2019.
Dalhatu, while reviewing the activities of his department on Thursday in Lafia, said that his staff saved property worth about N1.4 billion within the period under review.
He said: “During the period, the state fire service responded to 82 distress calls; of the figure, 75 were related to fire outbreaks while seven calls were from people seeking to be rescued from danger.”
According to him, some of those rescued had fallen into wells, while others were in danger of drowning inside dams and running waters.
He expressed happiness that none of the calls was a false alarm, but regretted that four lives were lost to the emergencies while six lives were lost.
The fire officer appealed to residents to be extra careful and vigilant during the raining season, “especially with cooking gas and electrical gadgets in homes and offices”.
He said: “Misuse of cooking gas and electricity in this period can easily cause fire outbreak. Thunder strike is also another dreaded factor. Residents must always be cautious.
“We also want people to have first aid firefighting equipment at their disposal. Every resident needs this gadget to tackle any spark of smoke before it snowballs into uncontrollable danger.”
Dalhatu advised people to promptly report fire outbreaks to the outfit, and cautioned against situations where people seek to fight the fire and only remember the fire service when it overwhelmed them.
The fire officer commended the state government for coming up with a blueprint on how the state fire service could be run effectively, and expressed confidence that bottlenecks to efficiency would be addressed once the policy document was implemented.