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Confusion in Obafemi Awolowo University Over Cause of Fire

Confusion in Obafemi Awolowo University Over Cause of Fire
The burnt room

Members of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife community are in confusion over the cause of a fire outbreak that engulfed a room in one of the school’s hostels on Wednesday.

While the students claimed that the outbreak was not caused by electrical spark or cooking, officials of the school and fire fighters at the scene said the fire was not as a result of explosion as the students claimed.

It was learnt that the fire outbreak occurred at Block Seven, room 107 of the Awolowo Hall around 9.50pm, damaging beds and other household items in the room.

Eyewitnesses said it took the intervention of both the students, hostels’ warders and fire fighters to stop the fire from escalating.

The students, who were suspicious of the fire, said the school management had refused to supply power to the hall of residence since the school was shut last month.

One of them, identified simply as Nat said, “The cause of the fire is a mystery to us. We cannot believe that it was not an explosive. Most of us had gone to watch the football match between Argentina and Netherland in another hall when we saw smoke.

“There has been no light in the university for almost a month, so it cannot be the cause. Our thought is that the management planted an explosive to scare us out of the hostel since we have refused to go after the school was shut down.”

An occupant of the building, who identified himself simply as Ade, explained that it was impossible for the students to cook in the hostel because neither potable water nor electricity was supplied to them.

“After we put the fire out, we discovered that the cause looked more like an explosion. I can categorically say that there was no electricity and no one was cooking. How can we even cook when there is no water and power? We have been buying cooked food for consumption.”

However, the Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr. Abiodun Olarewaju, faulted the accusation against the management of the school.

He explained that it was impossible for the management of the University to destroy the institution’s property since no student was expected to be on campus.

He said, “We have told students to vacate their halls of residence. We are not expecting any students to be in the school. The school has been shut down by the Senate due to the unruly demonstration of our students over the increase in fee.

“It is illogical and unreasonable for the school management to deliberately cause fire in its own institution. That is just propaganda. The VC is too fatherly to harm any of the students. The management cannot cause fire outbreak for any reason. People should please disregard that.”

Source: Punch

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