About 20 lecturers of the Faculty of Agriculture at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, are counting their losses following a fire outbreak that totally razed down their offices Wednesday night.
Although no life was lost or anyone injured, property worth millions of Naira were reportedly lost to the fire.
Our Correspondent learnt that the fire caused serious pandemonium among students who were in the school reading at the time.
It was also learnt that the fire, which started at about 8pm, lasted for about two hours before it was put out by a combined team of Fire Service personnel from the ATBU, Nigerian Air Force, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport and the State Service.
A lecturer who refused to be mentioned, said his office was one of those affected, lamenting that all he had in his office was destroyed by the fire.
He said, “I didn’t know that there was a fire incident in our office last night.
“It was just this (Thursday) morning that I went to the office, only to see the whole place razed by the fire
“We the younger lecturers have our offices at the upstairs of the building. The way the fire engulfed the place, even the metals there have lost their strength.
“There is nothing left in our offices — from tables to chairs, everything was totally razed.
“Properties belonging to the school were burnt down and our personal property too were destroyed beyond remedy.
“The place is like a hall now, though our offices were partitioned with plywood and I think we have more than 20 lecturers with offices there and everything was lost to the fire upstairs.
“The fire didn’t affect the ground floor because it was subsequently contained.
“The nature of the offices, the plywood used for the partitioning of the offices, encouraged the fire because the building is old, about 20 years old.
“Those offices have plenty of books, I also have many personal books in my office, more like a mini-library, all of them are gone. Those books aided the fire.”
He described the incident as a great loss as he has properties which were destroyed that he cannot recover.
“It is a serious loss. For me, it is more of an emotional trauma because there are things I cannot recover again.
“I have conference attendance, journals, other documents that show you have handled some responsibilities and many others, all of them are gone,” he lamented.
He said that the school’s management assured them that their offices would be replaced immediately, adding that the management said it was working on that, “but today, we are all without offices.”
Another staff who also lamented the fire outbreak said: “We suspect that it was caused by electrical fault because some of the students there said they heard a loud sound coming from the building.
“The ATBU Fire Service, that of the Nigerian Air Force, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport and even that of the State Government, were all there.
“The fire started at about 8pm and lasted for about two hours.”
As of the time of filing this report, there was no official statement from the school’s management and efforts to get a reaction proved abortive.