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Fire breaks out at ATBU, Bauchi, 42 shops burnt

No fewer than 42 shops were razed to the ground when fire engulfed the Students Centre at the Yelwa Campus of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, on Wednesday,

Property worth millions of naira were destroyed in the inferno as leaving shop owners to count their losses.

The razed shops located on Block D at the Students Centre, included computer business centres, barbing salons and provision stores.

Eyewitnesses attributed the cause of the fire to electrical fault, adding that the incident started at about 2am.

They lamented that the fire could not be put out as the university’s fire service’s fire fighting truck was not in good shape.

A source informed that the institution’s fire fighters were alerted to the incident but they said their truck’s battery was faulty, a situation the fire fighters were reported to have said the university’s management knew of.

According to the source, who pleaded to remain anonymous, “I learnt that when the fire started, they alerted the university fire service but they said that the battery of the truck is faulty.

“They said they had reported to the management for a release of money for it to be fixed or for a new one to be bought but nothing was done.

“They said they kept writing to the management to release money for the purchase of a new battery but they allegedly said that there was no money.

“Rescuers also contacted the Federal Fire Service but they said that they did not have tyres in their truck, but I cannot verify how true that is. It is unfortunate that because of the ineffectiveness of the fire service this great damage happened.

“I believe that if there were firefighters, the fire would have been put out and these shops and properties would have been saved.”

The shops owners also rued their monumental loss with many of them saying everything they have worked hard for and gathered over the years have been wiped out by the fire.

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