A fire outbreak last night at the Abakaliki Rice Mill Company premises located at Onuebonyi has destroyed over N50m worth of machinery and Rice products.
The fire which affected one shop was however put out by the Ebonyi State fire service before it could cause further havoc.
Though the exact cause of the fire outbreak was yet to be ascertained, some residents of the area said that the fire incident may have been caused by power surge.
They described the damage caused by the unfortunate incident as devastating.
Chairman of the Abakaliki Rice Mill Ltd, Joseph Nnunu confirmed the incident.
He said that the fire started at about 9:pm on Thursday night which attracted the attention of the leadership of the mill who were still in the office when the inferno started.
“I immediately contacted Ebonyi State fire service who rushed to the place and was able to put off the fire”, he said.
He noted that some of the valuables that were salvaged was as a result of his quick intervention and prompt response of the firefighters.
The Chairman who described the fire incident as mysterious said that the fire started from the rear of the building and took over the whole structure before it was noticed by the Security men on duty who then quickly alerted the authorities.
“When I visited the scene, I saw about 5-black stone Rice Milling machines, bags of parboiled rice and the whole roof and interior of the building completely raised”.
The owner of the shop located at 13 A Line, Mr Moses Oboh lamented the ordeal and called on the government to come to his aid.
He said he may not stand the shock and the trauma of losing up to 50 million naira at a blow.