An early morning inferno on Sunday, gutted parts of the Government Secondary School Afikpo in Ebonyi state.
The school was established in 1945.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Correspondent, who visited the school, reports that its food section was affected but no life was lost with no serious injuries recorded.
Mr John Ulu, the school’s Principal noted that he received a call around 2.am about the inferno from its chief security officer and arrived the scene around 2.30 am.
“The students, teachers who live within the school premises and officers of the State Fire Service, battled to quench the fire and God helped us to quench it.
“The roof at the back of the refectory was completely destroyed and rooms at the kitchen and others at the food section also destroyed.
“We have not ascertained the cause of the fire but have ruled out people’s speculation on the cause of the fire such as electrical fault, bush burning, among other causes,” he said.
According to him, the school had been without electricity for the past two years while there are no bushes within its surroundings to warrant bush burning.
“The transformer which provides electricity for the school was vandalized while we only use generator to pump water for the students’ use.
“We do not cook with gas but firewood and we suspect that it was caused by the senior students who cooked at night at the school’s kitchen and perhaps forgot to put off fire after cooking.
“We lost properties worth millions of naira as most foodstuffs were completely burnt while foodstuffs such as garri were destroyed when the firemen battled to put off the fire with water,” he said.
He noted that the school has no fire extinguishers but will now procure some against the future.
“We have not experienced this kind of situation before which made us not to see any need to procure fire extinguishers,” he said.
Mr Peter Ojem, an Official of the State Fire Service, Afikpo Branch said that the students, teachers among others within the premises, cooperated to ensure the fire was put-off.
“We responded immediately to the distress call we received on the incident. We urge the management and students to adopt safety practices to prevent future occurrences, being a boarding school,” he said.