A 14-year-old girl has been arrested by the Delta State Police Command for accidentally setting ablaze a one-storey building at No. 17 Lolo Uronne Street, Bossac area of Asaba, the state capital.
NEWSNAIJA learned that the incident occurred around 9 pm over the weekend when the teenage stepdaughter of one of the occupants of the building allegedly left a lit candle close to where fuel containers were kept.
It was further gathered that the candle fell on the fuel containers, which resulted in the fire outbreak that destroyed the building and left many injured.
An eyewitness said that in spite of the timely response of the state fire service, the building was destroyed alongside vital documents and undisclosed sums of money in the apartment of residents.
The eyewitness stated, “The fire started around 9 pm and before we could reach the fire service and the arrival of its personnel, it was around 10 pm; almost all the apartments had been burnt; they still tried to quench the fire to avoid it spreading to neighboring buildings.
“Residents claimed that a 14-year-old girl was responsible for the inferno, but the girl said someone threw a knockout into the building, where fuel containers were kept.
“Her stepmother, who is pregnant, and other affected neighbors lost property worth millions of naira to the inferno, including baby items the stepmother bought for her delivery
“Some occupants, who suffered burns, are still receiving treatment, while others were discharged on Saturday, but the girl’s stepmother and her two kids were away to see a friend at the time of the incident.”
DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, confirmed the incident and the arrest of the teenager on Sunday.
She said the girl, who is currently being detained at the ‘B’ Divisional Police Station in Asaba, confessed to having lit a candlestick.
Meanwhile, occupants of the building have called on the local government council, individuals, and the state government to come to their aid as they were left with nothing and currently homeless, even as the landlord was said to have been demanding the repair of his property by the father of the JSS1 pupil.