FIRE CONSUMES ONLY SECONDARY SCHOOL IN AMAGUNZE COMMUNITY

Fire has consumed critical instructional facilities at Community Secondary School Amagunze in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State.

The fire burnt down the building housing the school library, laboratory and offices, including those of the Vice Principal, the Dean of Studies and the Staff Room.

According to eyewitnesses, the fire started around 6pm, about four hours after teachers and students had left the school compound.

One of the teachers, Mr. Emmanuel Nnamani, said he rushed to the school when some villagers alerted him of the development.

“I was at Eke Market when some people said that our secondary school is on fire. I ran there to see one of the buildings engulfed in fire.

“One end of the building was in serious flames and a lot of people fetched water from the stream to put off the fire but to no avail.

“What neighbourhood watch group & vigilantes did was to clear the grasses around the already burning school block to that it will not get to nearby buildings, and that was what saved other buildings,” Mr. Nnamani explained.

The Dean of Studies in the school, Mrs. Mary Rose Nwatu, whose office was affected lamented that all her text books, lesson notes, personal belongings were consumed alongside those of the Vice Principal and other teachers.

“I have no office now, I loiter from one place to another and I only teach out of experience because we lost everything to the fire,” Mrs. Nwatu cried out.

She also raised alarm that the fire disaster would affect about one hundred and eighty students preparing for the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination if nothing was done to replace laboratory equipment.

“See the students are getting ready for WAEC exams, I wonder what will be their fate when it comes to practicals because the lab was burnt to ashes,” the Dean of studies lamented.

A community leader, Ozo Francis Nnamani said their people were greatly distressed by the level of destruction, especially as it is the only secondary school in the community.

Ozo Nnamani also pointed out that the cause of the fire was not yet known and urged security agencies to unravel the cause of the disaster.

“We don’t know the cause of the fire yet, but from residual observation, the fire did not come from the bush as the crops beside the burnt building were not burnt.

“We know security agencies, especially the police are investigating the matter; investigation is in progress,” Mr. Nnamani assured.

The traditional ruler of Okeani-Aniyi Amagunze Autonomous Community, Igwe Emmanuel Nnamchi, who expressed sadness over the incident, pleaded with the Enugu State Government to come to their assistance.

“My worry is that this is the only secondary school serving students from our four autonomous communities and what is a secondary school without a library and a laboratory, it’s almost useless. So how will our cope with the situation?

“This is why I appeal to the Enugu State Government ably led by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to come to our rescue,” he pleaded.

Community Secondary School Amagunze with a population of eight hundred of seventy-five students is jointly owned by four autonomous communities.

They are Ohuani-Amagunze, Okeani-Aniyi Amagunze, Isienu Amagunze and Onicha-Agu Amagunze communities.

Some students from neighbouring communities of Akpofu and Amaokpala also attend the school.

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CHUKWUBUIKE MADU

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