There was pandemonium at the North Bank area of Makurdi, Benue State capital yesterday, after a young man was electrocuted while trying to cut off electricity supply from a metre in a burning house.
The incident occurred at about 8a.m. at a residential building on No 23, Kainji Street, following a mysterious fire outbreak that engulfed the 10- room apartment.
It was gathered that the victim, who was said to be in his early twenties, met his death while trying to disconnect electricity from a metre in the compound to prevent it from being destroyed by the inferno that had already engulfed one of the rooms.
A tenant in the building, Miss Mercy Obuchi, told newsmen that she was in her room when she suddenly noticed a spark of electricity near the apartment of her co-tenant that fateful day.
Obuchi, who revealed that the room where the fire started was under lock and key because occupants of the room had gone out, explained that she quickly raised the alarm, and alerted other tenants in the compound, adding that initial efforts to put out the fire were to no avail as the inferno spread to the entire building.
She stated that while tenants were running out of the building, they saw the young man already electrocuted close to the electric metre that supplied light to the building.
The landlord of the building, Mr. Jones Onor, said as soon as he heard about the inferno, he alerted officials of the State Fire Service but before they could arrive the scene, the fire had reduced the entire building into ashes.
Onor said the Fire Service only succeeded in stopping the fire from spreading to other buildings in the area. He bemoaned the lose as of the building, which he had relied on for taking care of his his ailing health. He appealed to the state government and individuals to come to his aid to alleviate his suffering.
The state Chief Fire Officer, Edwin Agbo, said his men swiftly responded to the distress call but the building had been razed by the inferno before their arrival, adding that his men succeeded in stopping the fire from spreading to other houses in the area.
The Chief Fire Officer appealed to residents in the state to always switch off all their electrical appliances before leaving their houses to avoid occurrence of such calamities.
When Daily Sun visited the scene of the inferno, burnt households items were seen scattered everywhere in the compound while neighbours said the remains of the electrocuted young man had been deposited at the mortuary.