Seventy-six persons died in 615 fire incidents recorded in Kaduna State in 2020, the Director of the State Fire Service, Mr Paul Aboi, has said.
The director said this in Kaduna on Tuesday during an interview with newsmen.
He said 139 others were injured in the fire incidents, while 85 people were rescued.
The director said the state lost more than N2.5 billion to the fire outbreaks, while properties worth N5 billion were salvaged.
According to him, the number of fire incidents increased from 523 in 2019 to 615 in 2020 due to the negligence of residents in spite of the series of enlightenment.
He said electricity was the major cause of the outbreaks and advised the people to be vigilant as any object could trigger a fire.
“ When there is fire, we want the people to call us in good time and motorists should give way for our fire engines to get to those emergencies in good time, “ he said.
Aboi attributed the delay in responding to distress calls on time to distance and inadequate manpower.
“Distance is a challenge as some roads are not friendly and fire will not wait till the firemen get there.”
The director urged the state government to recruit more firemen to replace those that died or retired so as to bridge the manpower gap in the service.
“I have 74 staff across the state and will need more to meet up to the challenges in the years.
The director also stressed the need for residents to switch off all electrical appliances when not in use and to keep inflammable materials away from their homes.
He said the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) was also working on a plan to sensitize the public on the importance of cooperating and supporting firefighters to carry out their duties without molestation.