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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Hotel staff injured, N700m property destroyed in Onitsha hotel early morning fire disaster



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By Chuks Eke

The manager of gymnastic section of Soprom Hotel, a 7-star hotel located at 33 Area of Onitsha was injured, while property estimated at over N700 million were damaged when the Spa, sauna, pedicure and manicure sections of the hotel was gutted by fire.

The fire incident, according to the hotel officials, suddenly sparked off at about 4.20 a.m. and was put out at about 8 a.m. this morning.

According to the hotel manager, Chinedu Agu, men of Anambra state fire service from both Awja and Onitsha did not come to the scene at all as they were said to have given an excuse that their fire fighting equipment were not in good condition.

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The hoteliers said it was after the hotel workers, guests and other sympathizers had struggled to put out the fire and prevented it from spreading to others sections of the hotel that men of the Delta fire service from Asaba arrived and helped to put out thick smokes.

Chairman of the hotel, Chief Abuadimma Okafor and his younger brother, Daniel Okafor who is also the President of Onitsha Sports Club, who sat by and watched some hotel staff clearing the burnt debris, said the gigantic building that burnt completely from up till down, housed Spa and sauna down stairs, while the conference hall is upstairs.

They lamented that the burnt conference hall was decorated with silver chairs, air conditioners and other expensive properties, while the Spa had salon chairs, padded expensive furniture and all the facilities worthy of a 7-star hotel of that nature.

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They however thanked God that no life was lost and the fire did not extend to other sections like lodging, restaurants, bar, among others, even as they expressed disappointment that the state fire service has no single functional fire service equipment in readiness for any eventuality.

Sympathizers, including Chief Godwin Ubaka Okeke, Chairman of GUO Motors Limited were seen trouping into the hotel premises to commiserate with the hotel owners and their workers.

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