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Fire guts rice mill, shops in Taraba

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Some residents of Gindin Dorowa in Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State are counting their losses following an outbreak of fire that gutted many bags of rice, rice processing machines, shops, and other valuables.

The fire outbreak, which occurred yesterday at the village, reportedly erupted from the premises of one of the rice mills in the area before spreading to neighbouring shops.

The source of the fire was yet unknown at the time of filing this report, but The Guardian observed that the dream of many rice farmers of a bountiful harvest season was dashed. They had recently expressed dismay over the state government’s lukewarm attitude to their plight.

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An official of the rice mill, who spoke with our correspondent on the sad incident, called on the government to come to the aide of the victims. He expressed sadness over the absence of firefighters in the council area and the level of devastation from the inferno.

Another victim said: “We plead for support from government and other wealthy individuals to come to our aid. We only hope and pray that the government would this time deem it fit enough to come to our rescue because most of us have lost all our valuables to the fire.”

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The caretaker chairman of the council, Adi Daniel Grace, who visited the scene of the incident, promised to solicit the support of relevant government authorities in the area for a helping hand. He urged the people of the community not to be deterred by the development but to continue to embark on their legitimate businesses, as the council will not leave any stone unturned in its quest to make life worthy for the people.

When The Guardian visited the state fire office, it was observed that there were few available operational vehicles while many of the equipment were in moribund state. An official of the fire service who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “Several memos have been written to the government on the need to come to our aid by replacing our obsolete vehicles and equipment, but our requests have not for once been attended to.”

The official who was visibly dejected prayed that this latest incident would spur the government to “change its heart towards us.”

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