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Northeast Nigeria University Records Multiple Fire Accidents In One Weekend

Repeated cases of fire outbreak have injured many and destroyed items at the University of Maiduguri Girls Hostels.

Two separate fire incidents allegedly caused by ‘adulterated kerosene’ have been recorded at the girl’s hostels of the University of Maiduguri last weekend. 

On Saturday, a fire outbreak occurred at the Murtala Hostel of the University as students tried to make some breakfast before setting out for the day’s paper in the ongoing first-semester examination. 

Sources, mostly students, who were eyewitnesses, told HumAngle “it was a case of kerosene explosion.”

According to one of the female students at Murtala Hostel, who preferred not to be named in this report to avoid incurring the wrath of the campus management, “the fire started when one of the students in room 1 of A4 block in Murtala Hostel tried to add kerosene to her stove after she discovered that the burner had gone off.”

The female student said the stove exploded in flames that engulfed the entire room and affected three of the occupants, including the girl in question.

“Before we could rush to help as they were screaming, the entire hostel block caught fire and the girls were badly injured. The owner of the stove was burnt almost beyond recognition,” the source said. 

HumAngle learnt that it took the fire department several trips before the fire was put out. 

Professor Danjumma Gambo, UNIMAID’s director of Public Relations said the incident was related to “Kerosene explosion” even as he said more details to the cause of the fire would be made public as soon as the “preliminary investigations” were concluded.

Another explosion 

Just as the University community was trying to come to terms with the sad incident of Saturday, another incident occurred at nearby Aisha Hostel on Sunday.

Sources said the second fire incident, which happened around 6 p.m. was also caused by another ‘Kerosene explosion.’

“No life was lost but it has destroyed many valuables,” said a student. 

HumAngle learnt from multiple sources that fire accidents have become a common occurrence in the student hostels in the past weeks. 

“So many of such fire incidents  have happened but were not of significant proportion to draw public attention,” said a 300 level biochemistry student.

About three weeks ago, one of the new Girls Hostels, known as Aisha Buhari went up in flames as one of the students who stored her cooking stove away under her bed did not notice that the flame on the burner did not completely die out at the time she quenched it. 

“The stove continued to burn on as the students left for lectures until it set the entire room and eventually most parts of the hostel on fire,” another student source said. 


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Abdulkareem Haruna

Abdulkareem Haruna is a Nigerian journalist who has provided extensive coverage of the Lake Chad conflict in north-eastern Nigeria for over a decade. A graduate of English Language with a Diploma in Mass Communications. He previously worked as an assistant editor with Premium Times and Leadership Newspaper. Haruna has a strong knowledge of the Northeast and follows the trends in the region closely.

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